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Microsoft's IE browser loses its majority, falls under 50 percent user share

Gregg Keizer | Jan. 6, 2016
Slide continues as the once-dominant browser slips to 48.6 percent, with Google's Chrome poised to take the No. 1 spot in October.

Meanwhile, Firefox has languished in the last 12 months, seemingly stuck in a range between 11% and 12%. Firefox's December share was 12.1%.

Nor has Edge, Microsoft's latest browser, made a difference. (Net Applications tosses Edge's share into the overall IE bucket, so the 48.6% for December included the 2.3% attributed to Edge.) Windows 10 users have largely rejected Edge -- the browser's share of the Windows 10 user base continues to fall -- even though Microsoft went to great lengths to push customers toward the browser, including changing the OS's default browser to Edge after Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users upgraded to Windows 10.

If the 12- and 3-month trends shown by Net Applications' data persist, IE will slip below 45% by April or May.

Previously, IE's position as the No. 1 browser seemed safe, in large part because it was the standard for businesses, particularly enterprises and other large organizations. But even that stronghold has been breached by Chrome, which will be the primary browser for two-thirds of enterprise users this year.

If that forecast by Gartner is realized, IE may slip to the No. 2 spot. Net Applications' 12-month average increase/decrease for Chrome and IE imply that the switch in positions -- with Chrome become the top browser dog -- could occur as soon as October.


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