Market share figures – an interesting start to 2012!

Market share percentages for the first month of 2012 reveal some interesting statistics, not the least of which is concerning major browsers. Google Chrome shows a decrease in market share for the first time since its inception 3 years ago. During that time Chrome has steadily increased its user base, month by month, until that trend finally reversed in January 2012. Now the drop is by no means significant and I am certainly not suggesting a continuing trend but I can’t help  wondering if Google’s adverse reputation regarding privacy may actually be starting to catch up with them – especially in light of recent allegations that the internet giant has been circumventing user privacy preferences in competitor browsers. <sourcesource>

The January figures also reflect Firefox’s continuing decline which dominated its market share percentages throughout 2011. So where does the lost support for Chrome and Firefox manifest itself? Surprisingly, most seems to have gone to Internet Explorer which actually shows an increased market share for the first time in many months, years even.

Market share as at:-       December 31st 2011:      January 31st 2012:

Internet Explorer:                      51.87%                          52.96%
Firefox:                                        21.83%                          20.88%
Chrome:                                     19.11%                          18.94%

 The figures also appear to fly in the face of early predictions that Chrome would supplant Firefox as number two browser before the end of 2011. Although I still believe that is inevitable some time during 2012.

Amazingly, Internet Explorer 6 still accounts for 7.93% of that browser’s total market share, well ahead of Internet Explorer 7 at 4.90%. Versions 8 and 9 come in at 27.45% and 11.64% respectively.

No surprise to see Windows dominating operating system market share. Interestingly though, XP actually consolidated its position at number one during the first month of 2012, increasing its market share from 46.52% at years end to 47.19% – a situation I’m sure Microsoft would view with some dismay. To be fair though, XP’s market share has dropped almost 11.00% since the beginning of 2011.

Early market share statistics also tend to suggest that Microsoft’s push toward the imminent release of Windows 8 has noticeably slowed Windows 7’s progress. Although Windows 7 market share has steadily increased since its release in late 2009 and almost doubled during 2011, January saw the flagship operating system’s first decline in more than 2 years – going from 36.99% at years end to 36.40% at 31st January. I don’t for one minute believe that is indicative of a continuing trend, but I do expect Windows 7’s market share to remain pretty dormant as prospective upgraders await the launch of Microsoft’s latest iteration. In the meantime the disastrous Vista continues its steady decline.

Market share as at:-            December 31st 2010     December 31st 2011     January 31st 2012

Windows XP                                58.92%                              46.54%                            47.19%
Windows 7                                   21.67%                              36.99%                            36.40%
Windows Vista                            12.58%                                8.44%                              8.22%

The big surprise on the social media scene, to me anyway, is Google Plus’s continuing failure to make any significant inroads. Google Plus’s impact has been so minor it doesn’t even make it onto the bar chart [under]. Facebook dominates the scene of course and at this stage Google’s gauntlet seems more like a wooly mitten. Regardless of what magical figures Google itself conjures up for its Plus social media platform, statistics from external sources seem to tell a different tale. One wonders when (or even if) Google might accept defeat and resort to relying solely on its much more popular YouTube.

The other surprise, again to me, is Twitter’s poor showing. My only real experience of Twitter is reading about the antics ‘tweated’ by celebrities, which has given me the impression Twitter is indeed ‘the‘ medium – apparently it is preferred by some but mostly by those in the public eye and not so much by us ‘ordinary’ citizens.


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No matter what trends and events manifest as the months wear on, I do believe 2012 may well indeed turn out to be a year to remember.

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