As browser competition continues to heat up, 2010 looks like the year when the market was repeatedly disrupted. Internet Explorer has not managed to gain share for a third month in a row. Firefox is leveling out while Chrome and Safari continue to grow. Opera? It's hanging on to relevance.
Between July and August, Internet Explorer dropped 0.34 percent, a drop smaller than June's or July's gain. Firefox, meanwhile, went up 0.02 percent, Chrome gained 0.36 percent, Safari was up 0.07, and Opera dipped 0.08 percent.
IE looks stuck around the 60 percent mark for the time being. At least it's still above its lowest point (59.69 percent) with its best chance of market share gains in the short term coming with the IE9 beta, and the back-to-school season.
The importance of being the default browser in the world's most popular operating system continues to help IE. Microsoft browsers are being used by more than 6 out of 10 people and IE8 is being used by more than one in four on the Web (quickly closing in on one in three)—it is now at 27.90 percent (over 30 percent if Compatibility Mode is included). Unfortunately for Web developers everywhere, IE6 continues to be more popular than IE7, though this month it declined more than its successor. IE6's share can be attributed to businesses still using customized intranet applications, and XP's much bigger installed base than Vista's (especially in developing countries).
If we take a look at the last 12 months, the stabilization of IE is really obvious. Firefox, meanwhile, remains far away from what may be the unreachable 25 percent mark, having lost all the share it gained in the last year. Its market share is actually lower than it was a year ago. Chrome's progress is very noticeable in the chart above, though it seems to have found resistance at the 7 percent mark. Safari's gains are at about 1 percentage point, while Opera's are almost insignificant.
As always, things at Ars are very different. There was no place-changing this time: Firefox continues to dominate, Chrome is second, Safari is third, IE is fourth, and Opera brings up the rear. Last month, Firefox gained share, as did Chrome and Opera. The first-party browsers, Safari and IE, both dropped.