This is not intended to be a well researched in-depth post; if I have a chance I’ll look into these trends further and offer some more in-depth insight, but right now I just wanted to share an observation.
Looking at developing a new web application I’ve started to do some initial research into the current market shares of various leading browsers. Looking at the WC3 statistics, I found what looks to be an interesting trend.
In September 2008, (the first available data point for Chrome) the market shares for the leading 3 browsers were as follows:
- Chrome – 3.1%
- Internet Explorer – 49.0%
- Firefox – 42.6%
In the January 2011, the latest available data, the shares are:
- Chrome – 23.8%
- Internet Explorer – 26.6%
- Firefox – 42.8%
Or in terms of deltas:
- Chrome – +20.7%
- Internet Explorer – -22.4%
- Firefox – +0.2%
Ignoring all the reasons that this wouldn’t be a scientific conclusion, this suggests that Chrome might be taking market directly from Microsoft, picking up the customers that Firefox wasn’t able to convert when it maxed out it’s market share in the mid 40%’s. Off the top of my head I can think of several reasons that could be contributors to this trend; Chrome’s stronger appeal to the mass market through it’s simpler interface, possible conversion of IE6 users to Chrome instead of IE8, impact of mobile browsing (i.e. Android based Chrome users).
I’d be happy to hear any insights from others that may have given this trend more thought.