Another month is in the books, and once again, Internet Explorer
is the browser to beat, in terms of market share. IE closed out October with a majority share of 54.13 percent, well ahead of Firefox
at 19.99 percent and Chrome
at 18.55 percent, but a closer look at the numbers reveals some interesting trends.
For one, IE increased its install base for the second consecutive month, and is up by exactly 1.5 percentage points compared to October 2011. So not only is IE still on top, but it's managed to climb higher since a year ago.
That's bad news for Firefox, which dropped below 20 percent for the first time in several years, and declined 2.53 percent compared to a year ago. Chrome isn't faring much better, having lost users for the second consecutive month. It appears Chrome might have finally plateaued after steadily increasing its share of the browser market since its debut. Chrome's high point was in May 2012, when it commanded 19.58 percent of the browser market.
Why does any of this matter, since browsers are free to download and use? There are two reasons. The first is search engine revenue. Google and Microsoft pay big dollars to browser makers in exchange for being featured as the default search engine, and in fact Mozilla makes the majority of its money this way. And secondly, the browser with the biggest share of the market typically has the largest influence on web standards and how developers code their websites.