Regardless of the introduction of the IE9, 2011 saw Microsoft’s Internet Explorer fortunes fall from 46% at the start of the year to 39% towards the end 2011, losing seven percentage of its users to rivals. Similar was the fate of Mozilla’s Firefox, which saw usage dip to 25% from over 30%, which it held at the start of the year. While not responding directly to the fall of IE’s market share, Microsoft’s pointed to IE9′s performance on Windows 7 as the only measure that counts. “Based on where the December data currently stands, we’re pleased to say IE9 … will soon take the top spot from IE8 on Windows 7, with usage share expected to come in at nearly 25.6% this month,” wrote Microsoft’s IE marketing chief Roger Capriotti in a blog posting on December 30.
The biggest gainer has been Google’s Chrome browser, which overtook Firefox to establish itself right behind IE as the market shaper of the year commanding a market share of 27%, according to StatCounter’s 2011 data while Net Applications put the figure at 22 %. Both IE and Firefox lost following steadily throughout the year to Chrome, whose usage is still climbing. Chrome enjoyed a surprising 84% growth year-over-year, far beyond any other browser in the market and it is reported that unless the other browsers do something or the other to pose some serious competition to curtail the growth of Google Chrome, we could have a new industry leader by the end of 2012. Safari and Opera have a market share of 6% and 2%, respectively.