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Last year, I looked at the current trends in terms of browser and operating system market shares, as well as what screen resolutions people are using and the most popular internet user locations in terms of country.
I have been keeping constant track of changes in this data over the past year or so and have been able to study trends and changes in different usages.
My source for the data is W3Counter’s Global Web Stats, who compiles these usage statistics every month by studying the last 25,000,000 vists to approximately 12,000 websites.Â There are some other sources for browser activity, for example, W3Schools Browser Statistics (not accurate because statistics are only based on visitors to 1 website).Â By sticking to one source for information (even if it is not 100% accurate), it is easier to accurately discover just how quickly things change over any given time period.
Looking at browser usage statistics, Firefox’s share of the browser market has significantly increased.Â According to the latest statistics, the total market share for the Mozilla/Firefox browser family is 29.62% compared to IE’s 61.43%.Â Over the past year, Firefox has narrowed the gap by almost 10%.Â These statistics take an average across many different countries, although recent reports suggest that in some countries, Firefox’s share is significantly higher – for instance in Poland where it is 45%.Â However in the UK it is thought to be less than the global average at only 20%.
Internet Explorer 6 has shown a steady decrease in usage with Internet Explorer 7 increasing, although 6 still remains the most popular.Â With the advent of Internet Explorer 8 on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how many people ditch IE6 immediately for version 8 and how many make the switch from 7 to 8.Â IE8 has been billed as a far more standards compliant browser, that previous versions have been severely lacking in, which could potentially see some recovery for Internet Explorer over Firefox’s increasing market share.
The new Firefox 3 has just been released with rave reviews all round and is already increasingly its popularity.Â Although the stats for June only show a 1% market share, this is sure to jump right up over the coming few months as more people upgrade to version 3.
Safari still “enjoys” a rather low percentage of the market (just 2%), despite now being available on PCs and Opera is showing a small but steady increase in popularity, though still only at a 1% market share.Â The AOL browser seems to be completely dropping off the radar as more users are encouraged to switch to far more sophisticated browsers such as Firefox.
The following two graphs illustrate these shifts over the past year:
Recent operating system activity shows only slight changes in the market share between Windows and Mac operating systems.Â Apple have increased their share to roughly 5% and Microsoft Windows versions account for 91%.Â The most interesting statistic is slow uptake of Windows Vista, now a year and a half after its original release, the market share is just 8%, while computers running XP still account for 78% of the market.Â With the possible release of a new Windows operating system less than 5 years away, it has been commented on that many users will stick with the largely stable XP until then, after the many grumblings and problems that Vista has had.
The following is a basic illustration of the change in operating system market share at the lower end of the market (not including XP) over the past year:
An analysis of the usage in various countries gives little indication of any change since my last report.Â The developed nations of the USA and UK are seeing a decreasing share (although I suspect still an increase in overall usage in these countries) and making way for faster developing countries such as Germany, China, The Netherlands and Turkey.
The statistics on screen resolution confirms we are in the middle of what I like to call a “Widescreen Revolution”.Â Screen resolutions such as 1280×800, 1440×900 and 1680×1050 have all shown a significant increase over the past year, and the “old reliable” 1024×768, 1280×1024 and 800×600 resolutions are on a steady decline.Â Particularly in our office we waved a rather unemotional farewell to the last or our old CRT monitors that made a bee line for the scrap heap.Â I’m sure there are thousands of other offices across the world also seeing the last of those big, chunky, heavy monitors.Â In most cases they are being replaced by not only one widescreen flat monitor, but in many cases – 2 or even 3.Â Yes, we are also seeing the “Multiple Monitor Revolution”!
The following graph illustrates this behaviour:
There will be another update on Global Web Stats in 2009.