Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has staged a comeback in the browser war, reversing a trend of declining market share by posting two consecutive months of usage share gains against chief rivals Firefox and Chrome.
For several months, Microsoft had been losing ground in the browser category. According to Web metrics firm Net Applications, Internet Explorer’s usage share numbers had been falling steadily for some time now; in September, IE had 65.71 percent of usage share last September, according to Net Applications, and had fallen all the way to 59.75 percent in May.
But in both June and July, Microsoft’s browser posted modest gains to bounce back to a current usage share of 60.74. “Internet Explorer extended its usage share gains by another .42% in July, gaining about 1% global share since May,” Net Applications’ report stated. “This is the second month in a row of global gains for Internet Explorer and the third straight month of gains for Internet Explorer 8 in the United States.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s gains were Google and Mozilla’s losses: both Chrome and Firefox lost ground, according to Net Applications. The declines were small, but coupled with IE’s growth in usage share, the data showed Internet Explorer 8 may be reversing the trend in the browser war for Microsoft.
Microsoft celebrated Net Applications’ research on Monday. Ryan Gavin, senior director of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer business and marketing, posted the data on Microsoft’s Windows Blog and wrote that IE 8 was “the fastest growing browser” on the market. While the continued IE8 momentum is encouraging, developers and browser enthusiasts are equally as excited by the future of Internet Explorer,” Gavin wrote. “There is great buzz around the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Previews – with 2 million downloads of the Preview and over 16 million page views to the IE Test Drive site. We’re looking forward to more great things for Internet Explorer.”