Internet Explorer 10 takes chunks out of IE9, Windows 8 closes on Vista

Internet Explorer logoOne wonders what the browser market would look like if Microsoft had enabled automatic updates before. Though the overall positions in the market were little changed in May, one thing is clear: Internet Explorer 10's uptake is fast, in a way that no older version of the browser has ever been.

Internet Explorer was up slightly, picking up 0.18 points for a 55.99 percent share of the desktop market. Firefox had stronger growth, up 0.33 points to 20.63 percent. Chrome was the month's big loser, dropping 0.61 points to 15.74 percent—its lowest share since August 2011. Safari was marginally up, adding 0.08 points to reach an all-time high of 5.46 percent. Opera ended the month up 0.04 percent points, at 1.77 percent.

As such, there are no major changes in the overall positions and shares. The big change comes within each browser. Microsoft has traditionally seen fairly slow uptake of new browser versions. Unlike Firefox and Chrome, Internet Explorer didn't upgrade automatically, instead being distributed via Windows Update with a license click-through generally needed before it installed.

Internet Explorer 10 takes chunks out of IE9, Windows 8 closes on Vista

Internet Explorer 10 is different, distributed as an automatic, silent update for Windows 7 users. It looks like this is having quite an effect on its uptake. 9.29 percent of Web users are now using Internet Explorer 10, up from 6.04 percent last month. This means that it has overtaken crusty old Internet Explorer 6 with its 6.4 percent share and is well up on Internet Explorer 7, at just 1.79 percent.

IE 10 is still some way behind versions 8 and 9, at 23.09 percent and 15.39 percent, respectively. There wasn't much overall growth in Internet Explorer's market share. That's because 10 grew largely at the expense of 9, which lost 2.78 points last month—which is what one would expect if the growth is coming from updaters.

Compared to Firefox and Chrome, it's clear that Microsoft's cut-overs to new versions are nowhere near as clean and efficient as the competition, which can both boast that the lion's share of their users are on a recent version. Nonetheless, this is still a big improvement on past versions of Internet Explorer. Version 9—which was, at its launch, a good browser—never managed to add as much as 3 points in a single month. Version 10 has now done so two months running. If Microsoft had used automatic updates on older versions of its browser, it's easy to imagine that versions 6 and 7 would by now be distant memories. Alas, no such luck.

This growth is coming almost all on the back of Windows 7, not Windows 8. Windows 8 now stands at a 4.27 percent share of the market—growing, but only slowly. Windows 7 is still the leader at 44.85 percent, with Windows XP second at 37.74 percent—in spite of that operating system having less than a year to go before its support ends.

Over in the mobile space, it's the same old story as always. Safari and Opera Mini were up a bit each, gaining 0.56 points and 0.63 points, respectively. Android Browser was down, falling 2.16 points, though this was offset slightly by Chrome, which gained 0.59 points. Mobile Internet Explorer is also back on the up, adding 0.33 points for a 1.97 percent share.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: browsers, Internet Explorer

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