Conflicting data makes it difficult to gauge the browser landscape.
Depending on which data collection service you trust the most, Microsoft's Internet Explorer is either wiping the floor with Google's Chrome browser, or getting spanked by the relative newcomer. Starting with the former, NetMarketShare has IE way out in the lead with a 55.81 percent share of the desktop browser market, virtually unchanged from last month and up a little more than a percentage point from a year ago.
Mozilla is intentionally ignoring Apple’s mobile platform.
iOS users have a ton of alternate browser choices these days, but only if you don’t mind using a severely gimped and re-skinned version of Safari. Google for example has chosen to port over a version of its highly successful Chrome browser, however unlike the situation on the desktops, iOS Chrome is significantly slower than Safari. Apple currently forces competitors to make use of its much slower UIWebView rendering engine, while the built in version of Safari has access to the significantly faster Nitro engine. This policy ensures competitors are unable to match Safari in the speed department, and Mozilla claims this is the primary reason why they currently have no intention of developing for the platform.
Windows 8 may be struggling, but Internet Explorer is thriving.
For years Internet Explorer has been easy to pick on, but for once the Redmond based software giant is bucking the trend. Market share for Internet Explorer has reached an 18-month high, and it seems to have done so largely at the expense of Google Chrome. In February IE climbed 0.68 points to 55.82 percent. Chrome dropped 1.21 percent, and Firefox rocketed above 20 percent to settle at 16.27 and 20.12 percent respectively.
Don't look now, but 64-bit Firefox nightlies are set to return.
Mozilla in November made the decision to pull the plug on 64-bit Firefox for Windows, disabling 64-bit nightlies because of a lack of resources required to make it worthwhile. What Mozilla didn't anticipate was that there would be "significant negative feedback" from the online community, and because of that, the open source browser maker said it's willing to make a compromise.
In terms of market share, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have been trading blows, angling for the coveted second place title all year. Firefox has continued to decline, but loses on all sides are leveling out, and Chrome isn’t seeing the huge gains it once did. This has given Mozilla the confidence they need going into 2013. Vice President of Engineering Johnathan Nightingale shared his own opinion on what they got right, and which of the company's many new initiatives have been resonating well with the Firefox community.
Turn out the lights, the 64-bit Firefox party is over. After developers discussed the topic in a somewhat lengthy thread, Mozilla has decided to shelve any and all work related to 64-bit versions of the Firefox browser. That includes nightly and hourly releases. Developer Benjamin Smedberg first proposed the idea of ceasing 64-bit development due to the builds being "a constant source of misunderstanding and frustration."
The launch of Windows 8 last week also marked the official release of Internet Explorer 10, which ships with the new OS (Windows 7 users can download a release preview, or hang tight until November for a finished build). Microsoft thinks IE10 is the best browser on the planet, and while Mozilla might disagree with such a claim, animosity doesn't run high between the two companies. Just the opposite, actually. In fact, Mozilla sent Microsoft a cake for shipping IE10.
I used to think Mozilla's Firefox browser posed the most serious threat to Internet Explorer's dominance in the browser wars, and for a long while, it did. IE's numbers were falling and Firefox's were climbing, but then Chrome joined the battle. A funny thing happened at that point. Firefox, once the most beloved browser by users 'in the know,' took a backseat to Chrome's rapid rise, and now it's anyone's guess what the next year or so will bring. Let's have a look where things stand.
Another month is in the books, and that means another thirty-some days of browser share data to crunch and analyze. One of the problems with doing that, however is that different stat trackers report conflicting numbers. Net Applications(NetMarketShare), for example, shows Chrome closing out the summer in third place, sitting behind Firefox (second) and Internet Explorer (first) as the most used browsers on the planet. But if you head over to StatCounter, Chrome is out in front.