The month of September has been quite an eventful period for Browsers this year. First two of the leading browsers released their latest versions- Google’s Chrome 14 and Mozilla’s FireFox 7.0, on Sept 15. The surprise of the month, however, was an amazing new browser, by Amazon, called the Amazon Silk, which debuted on their new tablet, Kindle Fire. Amazon’s Silk browser runs on innovative split-browser technology, where, the entire browsing ecosystem is moved to their cloud-services.
September month’s browser performances too, as with previous evaluations are subject to several factors such as regional variation, differences in measuring techniques the leading Web analysts adopt.
September 2011, web browser usage share
StatCounter figures reveal that, Internet Explorer dominated the combined numbers for both desktop and mobile browser use, in September, with a total user base of 38.85%. Despite a fall by 0.06% from last month’s figures, this trend follows with other browsers as well – Firefox with 24.98%, Safari with 6.64% and Opera at 3.06% all see marginal drop in their user-base.
- Internet Explorer (38.9%)
- Firefox (25.0%)
- Google Chrome (20.9%)
- Safari (8.0%)
- Opera (2.7%)
- Mobile browsers (6.7%)
However, Chrome’s September user-base rose to 22.02%, showing an increase of 0.51% over August. Perhaps this is the only mainstream browser registering such an increase.
In fact, Safari’s Desktop user-base showed an increase of 0.40% along with a 0.05% increase amongst mobile users. (Co^ StatCounter). This increase in Safari users could be attributed to the increase in iPhone and iPad sales.
The graph below shows the different OS usage in terms of percentages.
However, if split-browser were to arrive soon Firefox, managed by Mozilla Foundation and presently the second most popular browser with 26.52%, will find the going very tough.
The browser war has now become a war between the three browsers-Internet Explorer (which is losing heavily, in the past few years); followed by Firefox (with marginal fall) and a steadily growing Chrome.
Of the three, the future of Firefox is at stake. The main reason will be the capital. Nearly 80 percent of its $123 million revenues come from three-year contract with Google Search, which is up for renewal next month. This lack of strong financial background, in contrast to the other two financially sound browsers, does not bode well for Firefox, in the end.
Secondly, Firefox will find it increasingly difficult to match the cloud-based services that the other two browsers are already supporting. Moreover, if Amazon’s silk clones were to available on these two browsers, then Firefox’s could well find it difficult to survive.
Alternatively, Internet Explorer’s monopolization as in the previous decade or Chrome’s ascendancy combined with Google’s dominance in search, would result in a mono-browser domination at the cost of competition.
If Amazon’s Silk browser proves to be successful, despite the privacy concerns that have been raised, then all stake holders- Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer – are likely to follow, with their own split-browsers on a war-footing. And that will be the start of another true browser shenanigans.