Had you not already viewed the title of the article, you might have thought that the release of Internet Explorer 9 would have resulted in a gain for Internet Explorer in overall market share.
Alas, that was not the case, with the 1% overall usage of IE9 not nearly enough to bolster the slipping numbers as the users remove the thoughts of using Internet Explorer from their lives.
Of course, Microsoft has done some of this to themselves, as not only did they decide to make Windows XP ineligible for the upgrade to IE9, they are actively promoting the removal of support for the much older, and easily compromised, Internet Explorer 6.
The blurb from Computerworld has a quote from one of the Internet Explorer staff at Microsoft –
"It was a very deliberate decision," said Ryan Gavin, senior director of IE, talking about the move to exclude XP users from IE9. "You simply can’t build on something that is 10 years ago."
It’s too bad that no one in the operating systems division of Microsoft operates upon that same theory – we might actually have a version of Windows that removed itself further from the humble beginnings known as Windows.
California-based firm Net Applications states that the overall usage of Internet Explorer is 55.9%, which is a new low, dropping 0.9% in the month of March. If people were only switching from Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 8, in the case of Windows XP, or the movement from IE8 to IE9, then there would have been no slide measured. The release of Mozilla’s Firefox 4 was perfectly timed it seems, and allowed the company to grab some of the spotlight already shining on Internet Explorer 9’s debut. The event was enough to boost the browser’s share of the overall market to 21.8%.
The really bad news in all of this is that Internet Explorer 6 is still used by 11% of the population – though there is no way of knowing how many of those so identified have bolstered their usage by the implementation of Chrome Frame, or another similar product.
Microsoft is still counting on a boost with the upcoming push of Internet Explorer 9 to all running Vista and Windows 7 machines, along with the server machines running compatible operating systems. When that comes, the company will be able to brag about numbers of downloads, but will the usage actually spike. I’m certain usage will increase marginally, but nearly all power users will allow the upgrade, but then allow IE9 to languish on disk, as another choice is used in all but the most odd circumstances.
As the testing has shown, Microsoft’s use of graphics acceleration has still only put their browser solidly in the middle of the pack, which makes anyone having the knowledge to put another browser on their machine making that choice.