Top web browsers 2019: Chrome swallows more share

Chrome again jumped in user share, adding the most in a single month since its 2016 heyday, when Google took advantage of a disastrous Microsoft decision to claim the top spot.

According to web analytics company Net Applications, Chrome’s July user share climbed by 2.3 percentage points to end the month at 68.6%, a record for Google’s browser. The month’s increase was the largest since August 2016, at the tail end of an eight-month tsunami that swept Microsoft from its decades-old perch.

In five of the past seven months, Chrome has held more than two-thirds of global browser share, a statement to its grip on the market. The only extant browser that has accounted for such a large portion of the world’s web activity? Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), which a decade ago was as dominant as Chrome is today.

But Microsoft deliberately pulled the plug in the IE bathtub and within months watched its lead swirl down a drain. In mid-2014, the Redmond, Wash. company told Windows users that they would have to upgrade to the newest-available IE for the OS running their PCs. The order scratched a year of support from IE7, four years from IE8 and IE9, and seven years from IE10. (At the time, IE8 was the most popular version of the browser.) Only IE11 survived with support intact.

But if Microsoft expected an uptake of IE11, it was sorely disappointed. After the mandate went into effect in January 2016 — when more than half of all those running a Microsoft browser were forced to switch — a stunning decline began. In the first eight months of 2016, Microsoft’s global browser share plummeted 16 percentage points, representing a loss of about a third of its total. During the same stretch, Chrome gained 21.6 percentage points, sprinting from 32% to 54%. Computerworld has long maintained that when faced with an upgrade of one sort or another — IE8 to IE11 or IE to Chrome — millions upon millions picked the latter.

In any case, IE never recovered, and Chrome has never looked back. Instead, Google’s browser has angled to eat the world. According to its 12-month average user share change, Chrome will account for more than 70% of all browser share by the end of the year. By the end of 2020, that number will approach 75%.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.