On our main home page, we post both top line search data and browser statistics.  We like to do that because, the founder of Seattle Organic SEO is a data nut and more importantly, it helps our clients know what to think about when it comes to users finding them.  If there was simply one browser, one search engine and one operating engine, it would be much simpler, wouldn’t it?  However, it’s no fun to have just two evil empires like Microsoft and Google.  😉

I was (and still do simply for trending reasons, but may switch later) using statistics from w3schools (on our main page) which I’ve seen as an internet resource for many years.  They’ve been collecting data from log files for 5 years now and I trust they’re relatively reliable.

w3schools browser market share data

However, after doing a bit more research, I noticed that the percentages of browser use were significantly different from a company that appears to be taking browser statistics quite seriously. From a local Seattle reporter/blogger, Nick Eaton who writes for the Microsoft Blog in the Seattle PI, he quotes Net Applications which identifies usage share statistics for the browsers as (data generated Dec 13, 2010 @ hitslink):

Net Applications internet browser data

  • 58.44% Microsoft Internet Explorer (over 28% different from W3Schools)
  • 22.76% Mozilla Firefox (over 21% different from W3Schools)
  • 9.26% Google Chrome (close to 10% different)
  • 5.55% Apple’s Safari (over 1% different)
  • 2.2% Opera (similar data)

These numbers are a stark contrast to the statistics provided by W3Schools.  See in the parentheses above for the discrepancies.  You can see that Internet Explorer is #1 according to Net Applications, the source from the PI article/blog post and W3Schools has Firefox ahead of IE by a bit.

I found a 3rd source from another statistics company called statcounter that’s been around the (Internet) block for a while.  They also collect browser stats and the following is their opinion on the browser war:

statcounter browser stats dec 2010

Statcounter’s summary is basically:

  • 48.16% IE (as of Nov 2010)
  • 31.17% Firefox
  • 13.35% Chrome
  • 4.7% Safari
  • 2.01% Opera

So, basically the latter 2 say IE still is the most used browser putting a 2 points in the win column for the behemoth from Redmond.  However, as you can see from all 3 sources and from the article from the Seattle PI (or blog post…these days, I wonder if we can call a blog post an article; it was posted in an old school reputable newspaper), Google’s Chrome is gaining market share.  From W3School’s standpoint, it’s quite significant.  Well, beyond the efforts in their search engine Bing, Microsoft better, if they haven’t already start raising the red flags re: the browser battle for market share.

Then again, maybe they’ve already raised the white flag?  I don’t recall any part of the reports to the financial markets how much money the browser has made for the company.  Can someone comment on that?

browser share keyOh, one last thing that’s kind of cool.  I forgot, but one thing that’s great about Internet research is that you find some interesting websites that could easily go viral or at least gave one programmer/developer something to do one day/week/month.  The following is a representation of W3Schools data graphically.

graphic browser share stats by axiisSo, the guys who made this are an “open source data visualization company.”  Nice…

blog pinger

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