It’s hard to say that things are looking “grim” for a browser that still holds more than half the overall market share in the U.S., but Microsoft Internet Explorer tempts me into using the phrase. After all, their total decline has reached a full 12% as competitors Google Chrome (the up-and-coming desktop browser) and Apple Safari (the top tablet browser) have taken the scene. However, Microsoft doesn’t seem to think the decline is that significant a worry — at least if their own statements, which seem to bebragging about the market share loss, serve as any indicator.
The statement comes from Roger Capriotti, who unleashed a flurry of growth and decline statistics for the various versions of IE. What is there worth talking about for a company that’s taking losses? To Capriotti, it’s not all a loss. While the overall trend for the Microsoft browser is still suffering from a notable drop, the different versions of IE are faring incredibly differently.
“Internet Explorer 8 also continued its rise in January with 1.18% growth according to Net Applications,” stated Capriotti. This puts IE at “over one and a half times of the growth of Chrome (0.72%),” and in Capriotti’s mind solidifies the browser as “the most popular and fastest growing browser in the market.” It’s certainly true that, at 34.79% of global users, they still hold more share than Chrome (10.7%) or Firefox (21.1%).
But is it worth bragging about? “Growth” seems to hold a different meaning if you count self-cannibalization, which is precisely what Microsoft is doing in this case. But that self-cannibalization is also one of the company’s objectives, with the updated features of IE8 and IE9 overshadowing previous versions substantially. In this reporter’s humble opinion, while it may not be anything to be thrilled about, it does show that IE8 and 9 have a solid, fighting chance.