It’s been a while since we looked at the market share statistics for desktop browsers and operating systems. As always, I am quoting the statistics from the *trusted NetMarketShare, and they make for some interesting reading.
*NetMarketShare counts unique visits only whereas StatCounter counts all visits, including multiple visits by the same user on the same machine. NetMarketShare also eliminates bots and fraudulent traffic from its data. That is why NetMarketShare is universally accepted as providing the most accurate statistics.
Desktop Browser Market Share
- As at 31st January 2020
As you can see, while Chrome still dominates browser market share, Microsoft’s Edge browser is currently a mere percentage point behind Firefox. Obviously, being built into the operating system gives Edge a distinct advantage over its competitors. Still, Edge’s market share has been increasing steadily over the past 12 months while Firefox’s has dropped below double figures and remained fairly static since. With the recent release of the new Chromium-based Edge, which will be rolled out to users via an update in the future, I don’t believe it will be too long before Edge overtakes Firefox’s market share.
The worrying aspect of these numbers is that Internet Explorer, which is no longer under development, still maintains a fairly healthy market share percentage. Hopefully, that will be primarily down to enterprise users as opposed to home users. Even Microsoft’s own Security Chief stated some 12 months ago that using Internet Explorer was ‘‘potentially risky’‘. (source)
Desktop Operating System Market Share
- As at 31st January 2020
With Windows 10’s market share rapidly heading toward 60% and beyond, I suspect this might be cause for celebration among Microsoft execs, if somewhat belated. Now that Windows 7 has reached end-of-support, and with Windows 8.1’s inconsequential market share, I’d expect to see Windows 10’s market share accelerate accordingly and, perhaps by the end of this year, approach somewhere near Microsoft’s ambitious early estimates.
With both Linux and Mac OS still struggling to make any sort of impact, I believe it’s fair to say that Windows 10 is set to dominate the desktop operating system market share for a very long time. Essentially, the only serious threat to Microsoft’s dominance is mobile devices. Which, with ongoing development, together with the ever-increasing numbers of online applications, just might someday lead to the eventual demise of desktops altogether.