Web Browser Wednesday

We realized that we’ve never really done an article diving deep into the history of browser stats even though we have shown you screenshots of browsers from long ago. Thanks to Net Applications we have about a year and a half worth of data to look at, and it is interesting to see the rise and fall of the different browsers.

We had aggregated so much information that even the most severe stataholics would probably start to feel queasy. Below we’ve got an overview of all the browsers wrapped up into one, and then we dive even deeper by breaking the stats down into the popular versions of each browser. To try and ease the nauseous feeling we decided to hide the actual numbers that were used to generate the graphs, but they are still available by clicking on the Details link located at the beginning of each section.

We’ll start by comparing the market share of each major browser, and then we’ll break it down into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape usage.

Note: The timeline for each graph is the exact same, but the market share percentages are scaled differently for each chart to make it easier to read. You can click the Details link to see what percentages make up each graph.

–All Browsers (Details)–

From this graph you can see that Internet Explorer still owns a huge chunk of the browser market share, but over the duration of the graph it has changed quite significantly. In the next month or two it will likely hit a 10% drop since August 2006, and about 5% of that has occurred in the last 6-months.

 browser stats - all

–Internet Explorer (Details)–

It wasn’t until December of 2007 that Internet Explorer 7 actually took over Internet Explorer 6 in usage, which is rather surprising. Maybe it is because so many people are sticking with Windows XP and not making the upgrade to IE7, but it looks like things are finally starting to pickup for IE7:

browser stats - ie 

–Firefox (Details)–

When Firefox 2 came out in October 2006 it didn’t take long for users to make the jump from Firefox 1.5, and ever since then it has been rocking the house.

browser stats - firefox 

–Safari (Details)–

This obviously proves that Safari users enjoy playing with Beta versions of the browser, but don’t really adopt it until the stable version is available. In June 2007 Safari 3.0 Beta was made available by Apple, and in October it shipped with the OS X Leopard operating system. While in Beta it didn’t really affect the usage of other versions, but people made the upgrade rather rapidly once it was released. It’s been a hit ever since.

browser stats - safari 

–Opera (Details)–

The Opera 9.x browser was first introduced in June 2006 shortly before these stats started to be collected. You can see from the chart that Opera 9.x usage has been increasing quite steadily even though the market share is still small. Considering the fact that until September 2005 you had to pay for Opera (or suffer with a built-in ad banner) I would say that they are doing pretty good.

browser stats - opera 

–Netscape (Details)–

Late last year Netscape announced that they would no longer be developing the Netscape 9.0 version of their browser. Well, this might give us some indication as to why that is. The service we got our stats from didn’t even have anything on Netscape 9.0 presumably because the market share was so low. While Netscape 6.0 is currently the champ of all the versions available.

browser stats - netscape 


Hopefully you’ve enjoyed taking a look at all of the charts to see how your favorite browser has progressed over the last year and a half. If you haven’t gotten enough be sure to checkout our history of web browsers where we provide screenshots of browsers over the last 10+ years.