IE Drops to 50% Browser Market Share

Mike Halsey MVP
Nov 3, 2011
Updated • Dec 10, 2012
Internet Explorer

It may still be in the lead but the decline of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser is slow and steady.  According to the latest browser usage figures released by NetMarketShare, IE has dropped to just 52.6 market share overall which Google's Chrome browser making the biggest gains, now up to 17.6%.

It's bad news for Microsoft elsewhere as well with Bing only showing up as 4% of the total search engine market, or just under 11% when you also factor in the Bing-powered Yahoo! as well.  Even so those are terrible numbers for a search engine that's been consistently losing money for the parent company.

Bing do even worse when it comes to mobile search with just 1.1% of the market and Google storming away with over 90% of the market.  This will be because Microsoft has failed to make inroads with its Windows Phone operating system and because both the iPad and Android mobile devices use Google's search engine by default.

Elsewhere there has been little change.  Windows still has over 90% of the desktop market share with Apple climbing slightly to 6.9% and Linux holding steady at 1.2%.  With tablets the numbers reflect Apple's huge lead over the competition with 61.6% percent of all tablets an iPad and over 62% of all mobile browsers their Safari (I can only assume there's some margin for error with the results).

It is intersting in the mobile operating system share figures to see an unexpected Java ME sitting with 12.8% of the market while Nokia's Symbian OS sits hovering just above oblivion with 3.5%.  Windows Phone doesn't even make the top four.

The downward progression of IE in market share doesn't seem to see and end.  Clearly Microsoft have plans to halt this with the new in-built Metro version of the browser in Windows 8, but how successful this strategy will be remains to be seen.


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  1. ilev said on November 4, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Total IE market share is under 50%, to 49.59% for the first time.

    The end of an era: Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage

  2. Robert Palmar said on November 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    The market share for Internet Explorer may carry a certain prestige which is slipping
    but if users are going to the same Microsoft monetized sites via competing
    browsers I am not sure it matters all that much to lose market share.

    Presumably for Microsoft having Bing as the default search
    engine for Internet Explorer is the main reason to drive its usage
    however users are apparently inclined to use Google search instead.

    Microsoft’s focus should be attracting users to the sites it prefers
    and be less concerned about what browser they use to get there.

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