Thursday, August 04, 2011
Internet Explorer Market Share (way) Down
I have been involved with computers and the information technology industry for decades. The browser used to be a compelling piece of software, the gateway to the internet, and a common interface for applications whether they were hosted locally or remotely, or even "in the cloud".
Microsoft was always the dominant browser, after they fended off Netscape. There were a variety of challengers and even a major lawsuit seeking to "unbundle" the browser from the operating system (Windows).
I find it astounding how far down Microsoft's market share of the browser market has plummeted; whether LITGM is an indicative site or not (calculating market share is difficult and notoriously unreliable) it is amazing to me that Microsoft is now below 40% share at our site. Chrome has come from literally nowhere, based on Google's billions, and of course Firefox (which I use) is a serious competitor. Safari is now a major challenger, not only from the revitalized Apple notebook lineup but from all those iPhones out there that browse the web.
The most interesting thing is that all the browsers now are basically interchangeable; what was unique and game-changing technology is just a set of standards with quite a few contenders out there, some coming up from nowhere.
The rapidity of this fall should send shivers down the backs of technology investors, as well. That fat stock price depends on years and years of growth and cash flow; if the market can change this fast, where is the certainty? Well since no one pays for their browser anyways the issue is moot, but the concept is the same, anyways.