CNNMoney — “StatCounter, which tracks Internet data, said that Internet Explorer’s share of the browser market fell to 49.9% in September. More people still use IE than any other single browser, but the combined market share of non-Microsoft browsers now outpaces IE. The other browsers have outpaced IE’s innovations, has led Mozilla’s Firefox, Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Chrome and Apple’s (AAPL, Fortune 500) Safari browser to eat away at Microsoft’s market share. Internet Explorer’s use has been falling steadily over the past several years.
“This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars,” said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter’s CEO. “Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%.”
MP: For visitors to Carpe Diem, the share of various IE browsers (6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0) is only 43.3% vs. 32% for Firefox, and 22% for Safari (see chart above). It wasn’t too long ago that Microsoft was accused of being an evil monopolist, and prosecuted for bundling Internet Explorer with its Microsoft Windows operating system, which was supposedly unfair because it restricted the market for competing web browsers.
The end of Microsoft’s dominance for browsers demonstrates that in the long run, vigorous market competition is almost always the best regulator of all, and the consumer’s best friend.