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Last chance to upgrade IE or switch browsers as Microsoft's mandate looms

Gregg Keizer | Jan. 5, 2016
An estimated 340 million users ran a soon-to-be-retired version of IE last month.

Of the 340 million users who ran an IE on the chopping block, 147 million, or about one in four, used IE8 in December. That aged browser, introduced in early 2009 and once the default for Windows 7, lost 1.5 percentage points of user share last month, falling to 9%, the first time it had been under the 10% bar since May 2009.

IE8 has been particularly stubborn about vanishing, in part because it was the last Microsoft browser to run on Windows XP, the even-more-elderly OS that the Redmond, Wash., company retired nearly two years ago. Amazingly, Windows XP powered about 12% of all Windows PCs last month.

Due to the IE8-XP connection, that browser remained popular in the workplace because it ran on both XP and Windows 7, an important consideration to enterprises, which were in the midst of migrating from the former to the latter in the 2012-2014 stretch.

Other still-prominent editions of IE in December included IE9 (with an estimated 110 million users) and IE10 (69 million).

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Edge, the default browser in Windows 10, carried just 37 million on its rolls in December, a decline from 46 million the month before. According to Net Applications' data, only 23% of Windows 10 users ran Edge in the final month of 2015, a dramatic drop from the month prior, but in sync with the overall declining-share narrative of the new browser.


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