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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.”

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