Are you running the latest browser version?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 4, 2008
Updated • Dec 9, 2012

In a recently released research paper Stefan Frei, Thomas Dübendorfer, Gunter Ollmann and Martin May analyzed Google Search Engine logs between January 2007 and June 2008 to understand web browser security. The research paper brought up some interesting figures including worldwide browser usage, number of users with the latest version of the browser and the share of the most secure browser version.

According to their research Internet Explorer is leading the field with a market share of 78.3% followed by Firefox with 16.1%, Safari with 3.4% and Opera with 0.8%. This means in daily numbers 1108 million Internet Explorer, 227 million Firefox, 48 million Safari and 11 million Opera browsers.

If you analyze that data to find out how many of the users are using the latest version of the browser the picture changes drastically and provides another explanation why Internet Explorer is still the number one target for malicious software.

Only 52.5% of all Internet Explorer users are running the latest browser version compared to 92.2% of all Firefox users, 90.1% of the Opera users and 70.2% of the Safari users. The numbers are assuming that the latest version of the browser is the most secure one.

This leads to my initial question. Are you running the latest browser version of the browser that you are using ?


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  1. TBIRD7777 said on July 5, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Also proves the Explorer Browser from Microsoft does not provide an adequate upgrade warning path within the Browser’s program and their users are the neediest.

    This being based on the assumption that most of the Internet’s most astute technologically speaking have long left Internet Explorer as the Browser of choice anyway.

  2. Roman ShaRP said on July 4, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I almost don’t use IE, so I never update it.

    I update Firefox when it prompts me to.

    And before I switched to Firefox, I used Opera, but not always last version. Opera 7 consumed more resources than 6 and was very unstable in first 7.x builds, so I didn’t upgrade for some time. Some builds of Opera 9 worked for me better than later ones with fixes.

    Mozilla team approach to builds is more responsible, and I appreciate it ;)

  3. Rarst said on July 4, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    >interesting figures including worldwide browser usage

    First rule of browser usage reports – any report that has “worldwide” word in it is pile of total crap.

    Only report possible is stats for specific period of time for site(s) you own. Rest is stupid guessing.

    It is also very dangerous numbers to decide upon. Figures may be drastically different outside USA and outside generalized “average internet user”. I had seen some sites (IT-related) posting their statistics that had up to 40% (forty percent) Opera visitors… If those sites were made disregarding Opera in favor of IE and Firefox (like some are) = suicide.

  4. OAlexander said on July 4, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    All this leads to the answer that the vast majority of users dares not to do anything which requires oersonal judgement with their computer.

    Therefore MS can charge for their office suite a hansome premium, and therefore Quicktime and RealPlayer are still downloaded. They are officious.

    To boot, “out of the box” Firefox is a dog, inferior to Opera, and only marginally better than MSIE 7 in the dullest user experience. Firefox lives on its plugins.

    Most users rather stick to “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”. You see, I had a plumber in recently. Once you saw what he was doing it was all quite easy – before that fixing the drip was an unsurmountable task.

    Not everybody reads “gHacks”, and not everybody reads “Golden Showers”.

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