Proprietary Browser vs. Open Source Browser [Market Share Analysis]

Proprietary Browser vs. Open Source Browser [Market Share Analysis]

With time open source software have emerged as potential contenders to proprietary software. Unlike the traditional understanding, open source software have proven to be as capable (or even more capable) than counterpart proprietary software and have been successful in claiming substantial market share. While we occasionally analyze the browser market share, this time we decide to compare the open source and proprietary browser market share and investigate how trends are shaping up in browser market.

open source vs proprietary browser market share

The browsers we have selected to analyze are:
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari being the prominent browsers in proprietary group while Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox in open source camp. Other Browsers (notably Opera) have been excluded from the analysis as claiming only a very small market share that is persistently constant.
A look at the current market share for each browser (as for September 2012)

Browser Market share September 2012

We shall analyse the browser trends prevalent from January 2011 to September 2012. Now lets first have a look at the the browser market share for proprietary market share.

Proprietary browser market share

Having seen the market share for proprietary browsers, lets see individual and accumulative market share for each browser in Open source camp.

Browser Market share open source Browsers

Combining the above tables into a clearer table:

open source vs proprietary browser market share

The investigations yields the following graph:

Open source Browser vs proprietary browser market shares

Open source Browser vs proprietary browser market shares

Comparing the two browser growth relatively:

Open source Browser vs proprietary browser market shares

The graphs clearly show the trends favoring open source browsers currently. This trend is expected to continue as more and more developers continue to contribute their creativity to open source browser projects making open source browser richer in features ,faster and efficient.

  • Alex Halsey

    Hopefully this will soon be the case when it comes to operating systems!

  • Deekshith Allamaneni

    How can Chrome be OpenSource? Thats completely false. It is based on the open-source Chromium but Chrome itself is not open-source.
    This is Google’s strategy to project it’s closed source browser as open-source.

  • shadowguy14

    Technically Google Chrome isn’t open source, I would have said Chromium, but they’re pretty much the same thing.

  • Pan Łukasz

    Google Chrome isn’t free software in general. It has only free components, like WebKit. Therefore it is not a pride for free software community. Only Firefox and its derivatives, Konqueror, Midori etc. are free browsers.

  • stephen murcott

    I use Chromium 90% of the time, it certainly feels, looks and behaves like Chrome. I wonder what the difference is?

  • SO

    The chromium browser, comprising most of Chrome’s functional code, is open source. The primary difference is branding and built-in support for non-free proprietary media such as AAC and Flash.

  • SO

    This is only partially correct, Chrome is the Branded Google Branch of the Chromium project, and it contains some non-free software, see here for a comparison:

  • xedi

    “The graphs clearly show the trends favoring open source browsers currently”

    Especially when you start to draw the graph at the end of the proprietary browser column. Chrome and Firefox have a comfortable lead in comparison to IE and Safari, no need for deceptive graphs.

  • Daya Phiri

    i use chrome best browser ever fast without unnecessary addons and automatic flash plugins and many cool features its all good it has a chrome store you personalize
    your browser too

  • manuel tondeur


  • manuel tondeur

    Yeah except Chrome is not open source at all, has spyware and is like the others one of the biggest corporations on earth.

  • manuel tondeur

    Unnecessary add ons? What are those? Add ons that Mozilla forced you to install? Maybe you’re not using FF right.

    Automatic flash plugins? Same questions, Chrome/Chromium come with flash plugins installed too or you wouldn’t be able to watch videos or play games.

    Cool features? I’m curious, what feature does a lightweight browser like Chrome have that FF doesn’t? FF has so much more, more useful (Chrome’s are games and web apps xD) and better developed (native) add ons than any other browser.

  • Uros

    I think there is a mistake here. Google chrome is not open source. Chromium is open source.

  • Dale

    I don’t think the difference is open source or not. IE and Safari are bound to their OS and the other two are not. People begin to choose browser by themselves instead of using the default.

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  • Richard Hladík

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Konqueror use KHTML and Midori Webkit?

  • Yannis A

    It does. KHTML is open source software written for KDE. WebKit is a fork of KHTML.

  • Pan Łukasz

    I know that. I used comma between “Firefox and its derivatives” and “Konqueror, Midori, etc.” not to say, that Konqueror is a derivative of Firefox. Maybe the problem is that English is not my native language.

  • Long

    I agree that Firefox is quite good for programmers. But on user perspective, IMHO, Chrome brings better experience with less time to learn the complex configurations.

    Using things right is hard. What chrome does better is that it doesn’t force a casual player to learn many things