Internet Explorer is not dead after all. In fact, there’s more than a little life left in the old Microsoft dog yet.
Many people have written Internet Explorer off. And with good reason. While Mozilla has continued doing what it’s doing with Firefox, despite some obvious missteps, and Google has been steadily building Chrome into a behemoth that can no longer be ignored, Microsoft was caught wanting, seeming to rest on its laurels and assuming IE was too far ahead to ever be beaten.
It’s important to note that Internet Explorer has remained number one throughout, always retaining a healthy lead over the competition. But its lead has fallen steadily and by a huge degree in recent years, first at the hands of Firefox, and then at the hands of Chrome.
If the downturn in fortunes had continued at the pace it once was doing then Internet Explorer would by now have lost its place as the majority browser, as some analysts predicted. But IE’s market share never dipped below 50 percent, not even by a smidgen, and it’s now back on up. Or so the market share analysis of the past few months would suggest.
According to the latest statistics from Net Applications (via CNET), IE gained one percentage point in terms of worldwide browser usage in March 2012. It has risen from 52.8 percent to 53.8 percent, while Firefox has dropped from 20.9 to 20.6, Chrome from 18.9 to 18.6, Safari from 5.2 to 5.1. In other words IE has gained at the expense of everyone else.
Why this uptick in fortunes all of a sudden? Microsoft has taken two important steps which have led to Internet Explorer’s recovery: delivered a browser in IE9 that is actually decent and capable of competing; started to fight back by actively promoting its Web browser. If IE10, due to ship with Windows 8 is even better, and the promotional efforts continue, then the recovery should continue. And may even gather place.