Internet Explorer's market share continues to drop like a rock.
Internet measurement firm Net Applications just published its numbers for May, and Internet Explorer's total share declined yet again, from 55.11 percent in April (see note at bottom) to 54.27 percent in May, a drop of 0.84 basis point in one month. Contrast that with Google's Chrome, which rose from 11.94 percent in April to 12.52 percent in May, an increase of 0.58 basis point.
In the past year, IE's share of browser usage has dipped from 60.32 percent to 54.27 percent.
If IE's decline continues at the same rate shown in the past few months, by the end of this year, we could well see IE's market share fall below 50 percent -- a resounding salute to the folks at Mozilla Foundation and Opera, who rescued us from the monopolistic mire of Internet Explorer 6.
Speaking of the not-so-dearly departed, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 Countdown site continues to extol the virtues of dumping IE6. "Friends don't let friends use Internet Explorer 6," prods Microsft's official site, which is "dedicated to watching Internet Explorer 6 usage drop to less than 1 percent worldwide, so more websites can choose to drop support for Internet Explorer 6, saving hours of work for web developers" -- not to mention millions of infected machines.
Microsoft's infanticide seems to be working: Net Applications shows that IE6 market share has dropped from 17.17 percent a year ago to 10.36 percent in May. That's a big decline. But if it continues at that rate, we'll still have IE6 to kick around well into next year, long past the time IE in all versions has dropped below 50 percent.
In the past year, IE7 has dropped off the radar, falling from 11.79 percent to 7.04 percent market share, while IE8 -- bundled with Windows 7 -- has actually increased, from 29.37 to 31.28 percent. IE9, available as a Release Candidate in February, hit 4.19 percent in May, more than doubling its share since April. Microsoft likes to talk about the meteoric rise of Internet Explorer 9, but it's gaining market share at the expense of its older brothers. Individuals and companies may be upgrading to IE9, but people are actually using other browsers, especially Chrome, and shunning IE.