Microsoft (MSFT) Explorer, Still the World’s Least Preferred Browser

Much has been said about Microsoft’s ill-fated browser, the Explorer, and it looks like users are still avoiding it like a plague.

microsoft explorer

Microsoft Corp‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer [IE] fell from grace decades ago and its downward spiral continues today. According to Internet analytics vendor Net Applications, the Redmond tech giant’s ill-fated browser, along with Edge, continues to bleed users and there is no sign it will win over fans anytime soon.

In a report, the analytics vendor noted that the combined user share of IE and Edge fell 2.2% in August, ending the month at a disappointing 32.5%. This would be the fourth month in the last six where Internet Explorer and Edge lost more than 2 points. It is also the second largest decline in the firm’s 11th year of recording Net Applications’ data.

Analysts believe that part of the reason for the company’s browser share decline is the plunge of the Netscape navigator, which Internet Explorer ousted in the mid-90s. However, IE lost more than 12% points of user share in the past 6 months. On the first months of the year, the browser lost 16 points. According to Computerworld’s calculation, if IE and Edge continue to lose points; their share will be under the 25% bar by the end of 2016.

One company that benefited from Microsoft’s troubles is Google-parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). The Mountain View, Calif. company’s Chrome is one of the most preferred browsers in the world and its overall market share continue climbing. Last month, Chrome accounted for 54% of all browsers, up by 3 points from July. The analytics firm noted that there’s no indication that Chrome’s rapidly rising share will stop as the browser’s August gain is tied for the second largest in Google’s history, bested only by May’s impressive 4-point gain.

Chrome surpassed IE and its contemporaries as the most popular browser largely because Microsoft stopped support for all but the newest browsers (IE11 and Edge) last January. The move forced users to choose between upgrading to a newer version of IE or dumping IE completely for a competitor. Unfortunately for Microsoft, millions of users chose to switch to Chrome. At the rate it’s going, Chrome could be the browser for two-thirds of all users by the end of 2016.

But unlike Chrome, Mozilla Firefox is not expected to gain more shares from Microsoft’s problems, In fact, the once-most used browser lost more than a third of its user share during the start of 2016. In fact, Firefox fell four-tenths of a percentage point, dropping to an unprecedented 7.7%. The new low was not seen since April of 2005 when Firefox was still in its infancy.

Business insiders project that unless Firefox can stop its shares from dropping, the browser is expected to fall below the 5% mark as early as March next year. Analysts noted that Microsoft’s user shares would be down 25% by the end of this year while Chrome will see a 66% increase (2/3 of the user share) around the same period.

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