Since the dawn of the internet, users have had to interface through web browsers to view and receive online content. Originally the average internet user had only a handful of browsers to choose from (IE, AOL, and Netscape) and at that time the decision might have been made for you based on your ISP(internet service provider) or your installed Operating System. This made it much easier to control a larger portion of the market and for example in 2000 Internet Explorer held and estimated 90% of the market share over Netscape and AOL.
Today you the user are no longer tied to a specific browser based on your ISP or Operating system. In fact you have 100’s if not 1000’s of different browsers available to you at the click of a button. Because of this market share is a lot harder for one company to control and we have a much larger span of browsers to account for! Today’s users have higher standards for their browsers and even the smallest missing or confusing feature could cause a user to switch platforms. This is particularly important information for us web developers. It shows us a good snapshot of what major browsers we should focus on for testing/accessibility, and should be referenced at least once a year to offer your clients the best possible solution for the current market. Currently there are 5 major browsers vying for control with the top only being 43% of the market.
Above you can see the breakdown of users by browser type. As you can see IE has taken a major decline in the past 10 years dropping down to only 27.5% of the market-share. Currently our browser “King of the Hill” is Firefox which has grown to an estimated 43.5% of the market since its introduction in 2003. But it should be interesting to see what the future holds with contenders such as Google Chrome. Chrome was introduced in late 2008 and has gained followers faster than any other browser to date. It currently holds 3rd place in our ranking but this designer expects to see a major incline in Chrome users over the next 2 - 3 years.
If you’re still using the default browser that came with your computer here are a few links to check out the latest and greatest from the top 5 browsers.
Also if you’re interested in more specific statistics visit the Monthly W3School statsics here.