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Microsoft could lose No. 1 browser spot as soon as May

Gregg Keizer | March 2, 2016
As declines continue -- February's was the largest ever -- IE slides toward the 40 percent mark.

But Chrome's rise can't be credited only to Microsoft's decision to drop support of older versions of IE. A net loss last month of 2.3 percentage points by IE11 shows that even those on a supported Microsoft browser have dumped it, largely for Chrome, according to Net Applications' numbers.

The upgrade-or-else deadline of Jan. 12 now is seven weeks in the past, but by Net Applications' numbers, more than a third of IE users remain on outdated versions that no longer receive security updates. The 18.2% of IE users running IE8, for example, are on a browser that Microsoft no longer patches; the same goes for more than three-fourths of the 11.8% stuck on IE9 and for virtually all of the 6.7% who ran IE10 last month.

Among IE's overall gloom, the bright spot was on Edge, the default browser for Windows 10: By Net Applications' count, Edge gained about nine-tenths of a percentage point of user share in February, the most since 10's debut last summer. Edge accounted for 3.9% of all browsers used last month, or approximately 8.8% of those created by Microsoft.

 

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