Should Microsoft Be Worried About IE’s Usage Drop?


My recent run-in with a FOSS Supporter & the aftermath made me completely forget this little piece of news which recently became a debatable topic – Internet Explorer lost almost as much as 5.1% market share by dropping from 79.26 to 73.75 percent.

Leaving aside the method used to calculate or any sort of ambiguity in the calculation or otherwise, did Microsoft’s internet Explorer actually lose that much market share?

The report went on to say that this lost ground was gained by Firefox which went from 14.45 to 18.41 percent. Let’s put this in perspective shall we.

Mozilla Firefox comes for all three (only) major platforms of computing – Linux, Windows & OS X. It is a great browser, no doubt. In sharp contrast, Internet Explorer is available for only Windows. Now, something that is available for the 3 computing platforms is definitely going to grow as computing grows. Ubuntu bundles Firefox with it’s distros (not aware if other distros do so too).

Safari introduced it’s Windows version & also cheekily bundled it with iTunes update to get more users. Mac users have grown courtesy the spotlight the iPhone & iPod have brought on Apple. These are the two major factors for Safari’s gain.

Internet Explorer has been heavily critisized for it’s lack of Standard Compatibility. IE 7 has made strides towards ironing these out & IE 8 is sure to put to rest quite a few of these allegations. In this turmoil, Firefox gained a lot of admiration so did Opera, but that’s still no where. Opera has a policy of ‘If we can’t beat you, we will sue you’ that did not go quite well with Opera users too.

The point admist this jibber-jabber is that, Microsoft should not be worried about IE’s dip as IE, even though being Windows exclusive still leads competition by a huge margin. What Microsoft should be worried about is the drop in the use of Windows. If Windows were to increase, IE’s share will increase automatically. IE 8 is already a promising browser from what the beta shows, it is Windows 7 that Microsoft should be concentrating more on.

IE did not lose ground, but it is Linux, OS X & Firefox that have gained ground. Firefox is more popular due to it’s multi platform presence.

EDIT: I posted the following on a forum and I think this would put into perspective my opinion.

Microsoft should not be worried ‘coz:

  • IE 8 is promising.
  • Despite being a Windows exclusive it leads a multi-platform browser by a humungous margin.
  • If Win 7 were to deliver, with IE 8 bundled it will automatically regain the lost 5-8% (considering alternate browsers gain more in the mean while)