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IE8 can’t stop IE market share decline

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Internet Explorer 8 may now be available through Windows Update, but the more aggressive rollout of the browser has yet to impact IE’s continued loss of market share. According to Net Applications, Microsoft’s browser shed another 0.72 points of market share setting another 10 year low. And yes, Firefox is still gaining.

IE was estimated at a market share of 66.10% in April, down from 66.82% in March. Mozilla’s Firefox kept the pressure on Microsoft and was able to increase Firefox’s market share from 22.05% to 22.48% in the same time frame. Safari lost slightly, from 8.23% to 8.21% and Opera also saw a marginal decline from 0.70% to 0.68%, according to Net Applications.

Of course, the truly interesting information of these statistics is unveiled when we dig a bit deeper. For example, IE saw its market share decline to as low as 60.90% on one day, while Mozilla topped 25% on two days for the first time ever in Net Applications’ charts. Also, we know that Microsoft has not found an effective way to use IE8 to stop the overall IE market share decline: IE7 was estimated at 44.51% during April, down 2.05 points from March. IE6 dropped by 0.86 points to 18.36%, bringing the total share loss of these two browsers to 2.91 points for the month. Meanwhile, IE8 picked up only 2.16 points to 3.99%, leaving 0.75 points - or roughly 25% of the market share IE7 and IE6 dropped - on the table. Those 0.75 points seem to have fed the majority of a 0.59 point gain of Firefox 3.0, which climbed to 20.25% as well as a 0.23 point gain of Safari 3.2, which jumped to 4.29%.

The conclusion here clearly is that Microsoft needs to do much more to push IE8. Of course, we also notice that the monthly market share loss is relatively small and, according to a previous TG Daily analysis, it would take Mozilla, at the current pace, more than five years to surpass the market share of IE. Microsoft has some time to catch up with the leading browsers, but it can’t make too many mistakes anymore. The current IE market share is hovering around a 10 year low: IE5, which was introduced in early 1999, was among Microsoft’s most successful browsers and lifted IE’s share from about 62% at its introduction to more than 70% within one year after launch.

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