Up until today, the jury was still deliberating on whether Microsoft's decision to skip XP support for its Internet Explorer 9 browser and focus its attention squarely on Windows 7 was sound or stupid. Judging by the market share numbers, it appears Microsoft knew what it was doing. According to data from Net Applications, IE9's share of the browser market more than doubled in the month of April compared to one month prior.
"After one month, Internet Explorer 9 is benefiting from Windows 7 momentum and has doubled its usage share on Windows 7 from 3.5 percent last month to 7.5 percent in April," Net Applications said. "Also, Internet Explorer 9's daily usage share for the last day of the month (April 30th) hit 9.95 percent worldwide on Windows 7."
It was enough to jump way past Opera 11.x, which now claims a 2.18 percent share of the market, and nip at the heels of Mozilla's Firefox 4 browser (7.46 percent) with less than a percentage point separating the two. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that IE9 is being well received at a time when Microsoft's dominance of the browser market is finally being threatened. Since January 2010 until April 2011, IE's total market share has dropped from 62.12 percent to 55.11 percent, while Google's Chrome browser has more than doubled from 5.22 percent to 11.94 percent during that same time frame.