The rapid transformation of Web browsers into nascent operating systems is happening before our eyes. Almost every week, we read in the news about a new version with remarkable features never thought possible only a few years ago. The race between competitive Web browsers is getting more and more intense.
The race to capture market share is closely monitored by a company called Net Applications. Every month they cough out a neat set of statistics regarding the performance of the big boys in the Web.
The following illustration shows the major Web browsers and their market share percentages for July (top statistics) and August (bottom statistics). Let’s examine who were the losers and winners for August 2009.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is continuing its trend to leak red ink. It has been doing so all year. In August it lost 0.71 points equivalent to 1.0 percent. They are betting on the next launch of Windows 7 instead of improving their latest version of IE 8. I’m afraid they’re betting on a dead horse. Operating systems are a dying species slowly being replaced by robust Web browsers. Steve Ballmer doesn’t get the picture yet.
Mozilla Firefox is running and running like the Energizer bunny. In August it enjoys 22.98 percent global market share on its way to reach the 25 percent landmark in the near future. It’s the horse to beat.
Apple Safari stopped dead on its tracks. For two consecutive months their market share performance has been 4.07 per cent. I wasn’t expecting this poor performance, since they are doing exceptionally well with their juggernauts products.
Google Chrome is performing as expected of a Major League’s player. In a brief period of time it has captured almost three percent of the market and increasing it month by month. In August their market share climbed 0.25 points equivalent to 9.7 percent which is enviable.
Norwegian Opera—the little engine that could—is struggling to keep up with the rest of the pack with great difficulty. No matter what they do, mainstream users just won’t buy their marketing strategy. It trails the pack in fifth place with a lame 2.04 percent market share. However in the cellphones, smart phones and PDA’s territory, they are making a killing. Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and Opera Devices are well respected products well ahead in the game.
Opera’s Devs have been doing a formidable job in making inroads in gaming consoles, IP set-top boxes, IP phones, portable navigation and home appliances. This an strategic spot to spend your energy, since it’s the most rapidly moving market in current information technology.
Finally Netscape’s users opened their eyes and found out that their idol was a sinking ship and headed for the lifeboats. In August, Netscape lost 0.18 points or 26.9 percent. AOL has decided to let this legendary product die after surviving many battles.
Yep, the browser wars are back in full swing. Even though IE remains dominant, rivals are racing to build in new features to make the Web a better foundation for applications—the vision Netscape had back in the first generation of browser wars of the 1990s.
That’s it guys. Let’s wait and see what new surprises will happen during September. Will it be more of the same? Good Day.