Monday, November 29, 2010

The decline of Internet Explorer?

One swallow does not a summer make, & so today's quick gander at my website's Google Analytics does not herald a decisive trend, but ..... for the first time that I can recall, Internet Explorer (IE) is no longer the main browser used to view my Leicester web design company site. Well, its still has the largest market share, just under 40%, but FireFox, Chrome and Safari collectively account for almost 57% of users. A year ago, IE would have had about 70-80% of market share, so that is a considerable decline.

Is my site unique? Is the demographic different? Well, yes and no. Looking at the statistics from some of our client's sites, the decline of IE market share is also visible but not quite so pronounced. The trend appears downward but not uniformly. IE still accounts for approx 60-70% of visitors on some sites but is much lower on others (50-60%). On those sites where IE usage is higher, these sites tend to cater to the B2B user. On those sites where IE usage is lower, their target market is more broadly defined, encompassing B2B & B2C, as well as 'artistic' markets. On one technology consultancy website, Firefox accounts for 51% of visitors while IE only 11%.

As I said at the start, this is too small a snap shot to say definitively that IE is in terminal decline. But one straw in the wind - no Windows based mobile device was recorded in any of the visitor stats on any of the sites I sampled, only iPhone & Android devices were logged. As mobile internet usage grows, IE & its Windows operating system may become irrelevant in mobile market share.