IE Regains Usage Share in March, Firefox at No. 2

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer regained some of the browser usage it’s lost in recent years, holding Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari at bay in March.IE rose from 52.8% of worldwide browser usage in February to 53.8% in March, a relatively large monthly jump in the statistics tracked by Net Applications. Meanwhile, the top four rivals dropped- Firefox from 20.9% to 20.6%, Chrome from 18.9% to 18.6%, Safari from 5.2% to 5.1%, and Opera from 1.7% to 1.6%. IE of course has a big advantage over other browsers, at least on personal computers: it comes with the Windows operating system. What’s changing now is that Microsoft, with the current IE9 and the forthcoming IE10 that’ll ship with Windows 8, is building a browser that no longer is the laughing stock of the Web developer world when it comes to performance, features, and compliance with Web standards. IE9 continues to gradually supplant earlier versions. It accounted for 11.4% of personal computer browser usage in December, 11.6% in January, 12.6% in February, and 15.7% in March, Net Applications data shows.
                                                                                         On mobile, it’s a different story, though. There, Microsoft is far behind rivals with only 0.5% of browser usage.Apple continues to dominate, though Safari dropped from 61.2% of usage in February to 60.5% in March. The Android browser dipped from 18.6% to 18.3%, while Opera Mini rose from 14.4% to 15.4%. Mobile browsing is growing, but so is desktop browsing. The split between the two types stayed the same in March: 92.5% on personal computers compared to 7.2% on phones and tablets, Net Applications said. Net Applications measures browser usage is based on the number of days each month that particular browsers visit a network of sites using its analytics software. The firm tries to compensate country-by country coverage differences in its analytics service by weighting its usage data using CIA Internet user data.

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