Occasionally I like to look at NetMarketShare‘s statistics to see how desktop browsers are faring in terms of market share and am always amazed to see the old Internet Explorer still being used by a large number of people. According to NetMarketShare, Internet Explorer’s desktop browser market share as at 31st October 2020 sits at 4.53%. That may seem like a pretty low percentage but, in the overall scheme of things, it equates to literally millions of users still persevering with Microsoft’s long out-of-support browser.
Using Internet Explorer is a bad idea. To find out why please read Richard Pedersen’s excellent article: Windows 10 Quick Tips – IE 11 is Bad News
(Desktop browser market share as at 31st October 2020 – credit NetMarketShare)
Microsoft is gradually weaning users away from Internet Explorer and on to its new Edge browser with a view to completely killing off Internet Explorer, along with the original Edge, sometime in the third quarter of 2021. The phased termination includes:
- Recently: When an Internet Explorer user visits an incompatible site — of which there are currently 1000 plus — the page will be launched automatically in Microsoft Edge, along with a message that reads: “This website doesn’t work in Internet Explorer”
- As of November 13th: users will no longer be able to log in to their Microsoft accounts via Internet Explorer
- As of November 30th: Microsoft Teams will end support, and compatibility with Microsoft 365 apps will be dropped
NetMarketShare’s statistics show that Edge is gaining ground month by month while relatively new browsers, such as Brave and Vivaldi, have made very little impact, not even registering a single user. Chrome remains dominant, of course, and while I can’t see Edge challenging Google’s browser any time soon, the fact that Edge’s market share is steadily trending upward is a good sign for Microsoft.
While we’re at it, let’s take a look at the latest (October) statistics for desktop operating system market share:
(As at 31st October 2020 – credit NetMarketShare)
Windows 10 at above 60% is now clearly dominating but Windows 7 still enjoys a healthy market share– I would imagine primarily from users in the corporate sector. Windows 8.1 and XP are now all but history (XP’s share is under one percentage point). As far as desktop operating systems go, it’s clear that Microsoft’s Windows 10 has that particular market place all sewn up with no challengers even in sight. Linux continues to disappoint, but I’ve covered the reasoning for that particular failure many times in the past.
I do like Windows 10 but am a little disappointed that we will never see a brand new Windows version again. I quite miss the anticipation when a brand new Windows version was due for release, not to mention the plethora of new material these events created for us poor old tech writers.
NetMarketShare Closing Down
Disappointingly, NetMarketShare, which has been at the forefront of market share statistics for many years, is closing down in its current form with October 2020 being the last report of this kind.
After 14 years of service and being used as a primary source in tens of thousands of articles and publications, we are retiring NetMarketShare in its current form. October, 2020 is the last month of data. All billing for existing accounts has been stopped. All outstanding balances are being refunded.
Why? An upcoming change in browsers (https://github.com/WICG/ua-client-hints) will break our device detection technology and will cause inaccuracies for a long period of time.
NetMarketShare will re-emerge at some point with a focus on ecommerce trends and verifiable user data.
Another very useful service gone west, shame.