Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser has seen its overall market share decline from upwards of 90 percent a decade ago to something closer to 50 percent today, with the specific numbers varying depending on which market research firm is doing the counting.

But the last few months show IE’s decline ending and even starting to reverse, according to the latest Net Applications data. Internet Explorer came in at 53.83 percent of the worldwide desktop browser market in March, up about a percentage point from the month before.

Writes the research firm, “With a gain of .99% last month and a net gain of 1.2% global usage share over the last five months, Internet Explorer has stabilized and even reversed its usage share declines of the last few years.”

Firefox and Chrome both fell slightly for the month, to 20.55 percent and 18.57 percent, respectively.

The stabilization of IE coincides with a new marketing push from Microsoft to get people to take a new look at Internet Explorer 9, including a television campaign and a site poking fun at IE’s reputation.

The Net Applications statistics above are for all versions of the browser across all types of computers. Microsoft has been focusing instead on Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7, the latest version of its browser and operating system. By that measure, the company says its market share is nearly 49 percent in the U.S. and 35 percent worldwide.

Microsoft says in a statement to Paul Thurrott of Windows IT Pro, “We are starting to see the results of a revitalized Internet Explorer, a brand that has gotten its groove back … it is clear that a shift is occurring.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Guest

    LOL. No doubt this will be seen as “success” by the IE team and MS’s leadership instead of the abject competitive failure that it really is.

    • Anonymous

      So having more market share than your competitors is a failure now? LOL

      I love people like you, you hate on MS when they completely dominate a market, when they have strong competition in a market, or when they are coming from behind. Doesn’t matter how many successes they have their demise is always imminent…

      • Guest

        Read this very slowly:

        “Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser has seen its overall market share decline from upwards of 90 percent a decade ago to something closer to 50 percent today”

        The trend is your friend…

        • Anonymous

          You might want to get a grown up to re-read your own comments back to you. 

          You stated that MS should view the offset of declining market share as  “abject competitive failure”. But why? Your are not making logical sense.

          So chances are high that you copy-pasted that statement from somewhere as this story about the complete opposite. The dictionary is your friend.

          • Guest

            Let me spell this out for you. One month of not losing share versus a decade of doing so. Get it?

      • Bob

        Does anyone still hate MS? Back when they were the dominant force in technology and the “evil empire” some, perhaps understandably, felt that way. But that was a long time ago and a very different competitive landscape from today. They no longer dominate browsers or even operating systems, office suites, or back-end servers like they used to. Indeed, while all still command relatively large market positions, each has been steadily losing share for years. IE is just the most precipitous drop. And if you included mobile as well as desktops, its share fell below 50% years ago and has no viable chance of reversing that given WP’s weak market acceptance and MS’s resultant declining mobile share.

        MS is now a company to feel sorry for, not hate.

        • lucho

          Their behavior is bold, as if they still control the software industry. They still disregard industry standards and instead try to impose their proprietary APIs and stuff (e.g. won’t support OpenGL ES but will try to get people to use their directx). Their dirty tactics have not changed (although they are not so successful now as have been in the 90-s).
          For that I can not have sympathy or feel sorry for them.

  • Erwinus

    My comment has nothing to do with MS-hate but IE really suck big time even IE9 and the newest one IE10. They at MS promise it will be better but it ain’t got better, already not supporting ALL standards and strange bugs (bugs other browsers don’t have). For example: No background gradient support, are you nuts????? 

    Ontopic: Also a strange thing is that this are stats from but when you compare it to other stats like statcounter you will see different results. No other stats will show that MS decline is stabilized. Money injection by MS?

    I wonder how they measure the stats, i can’t believe it is true. And, when it is true, it is bad. Developers must stop supporting IE (to bugfix what is a job/problem of MS and not yours). Tell your visitors and customers why Internet Explorer doesn’t support your website and that they can use better browser even without the need to install it. See:

    I have made a wonderfull app that is working pefectly under all competitors of IE by following web standards. In IE only, it suck bigtime, scripts that sometimes fail, css that doesn’t load, backgrounds gone, 16 different compatible modes (are they nuts at MS, an normal user can’t handle this). IE is a piece of crap, IE9 is better than the versions before but there is still allot to do. If it is not working in IE, tell them sorry, IE is not supporting this webpage, don’t try to fix it!

    Don’t tell me it is stupid to not supporting IE because it has the greatest market share, that is commercial bullshit talk. When the user don’t see a difference there is no reason to switch. And when developers still supporting IE, this problem will exists. Time to change.

  • Erwinus

    Where is my comment????????????????????????????????
    This is not nice, type allot of text!

  • Erwinus

     I hate you geekwire! Post was added after captcha. After pagerefresh it is gone! Ajax stuff is not working OK i think.

    • Todd Bishop

      I just checked the Disqus commenting backend and your comment had been mistakenly flagged as spam. I approved it, and it now appears above. Feel free to just let us know next time if you run into problems.

  • Erwinus

    Alright, seems to be fixed. Why it takes 17 minutes to display a new post?

Job Listings on GeekWork