Long gone are the days when Microsoft rules the browser world. In fact, if consumers continue to dump Internet Explorer or IE and Edge at the current rate, the only people using a Microsoft browser could well be the development team at Microsoft.
Reports show IE’s and Edge’s combined share plunged by 1.5 percentage points to end 2018 at 12.4%. The decline was the largest since September 2017. Most of the drop-off was due to users fleeing IE dropping to 8.3 percentage points. Edge shed slightly more than one-tenth of a point.
The continued deterioration of IE’s position was expected, as Microsoft cut development staff three years ago and since then has only serviced the browser with patches to block newly-reported vulnerabilities.
On the rise is Firefox with a user share at 9.6% for December, a six-tenths of a percentage point boost from November. It was the largest increase for the open-source browser since November 2017, when it was still clawing its way out of a mid-year 7.7% user share grave.
Elsewhere in the December data, Google’s Chrome gained 1.6 percentage points, ending the month at 67.2%. The increase was Chrome’s fourth of 2018 that exceeded a full point.
As forecast, Chrome broke through the two-thirds mark – albeit a month earlier than anticipated – and continued a march to what may be an unassailable browser supremacy. Using the 12-month average, Chrome could hit 70% in June 2019 and 75% in March 2020.
Apple’s Safari stayed flat at 3.7% in December but because of an increase in the share of macOS, the portion of Mac users running Safari dropped to 35.1%. That’s the lowest Safari share of all Macs.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard