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IE Market Share Has 'Stabilized,' Study Finds

A study polling the use of Web browsers and operating systems affirmed Microsoft's dominant market position on both fronts.

A study polling the use of Web browsers and operating systems affirmed Microsoft's dominant market position on both fronts. The March study, published this week by Janco Associates Inc., sampled 465,340 visitors to 13 e-commerce and enterprise-themed Web sites.

Windows Vista continued its slow climb in Janco's poll, with 19.5 percent using Microsoft's flagship OS. Still, that figure is nearly double the use reported in a January Forrester Research study, which found that "fewer than 10% of all PCs within enterprises" were using Vista. The Janco study described Vista's slow adoption as a Microsoft "blunder," noting that it has been 27 months since the availability of Vista Release Candidate 1.

Internet Explorer has "stabilized" its lead over other browsers after a somewhat bumpy ride, according to Janco's research. The study found that Internet Explorer had a 72.2 percent market share in March, up from 69.7 percent in March 2008. Mozilla's Firefox browser held second place at 17.2 percent market share, and Google Chrome was in third place with 2.8 percent market share. Other browsers were statistical blips, falling under 1 percent use.

"The major browser findings of the study are: Microsoft's Internet Explorer's market share has stabilized and Google's Chrome is a non-event," stated Victor Janulaitis, Janco's CEO, in a prepared statement.

Chrome use dropped in the study from 5 percent in March 2008 to 2.8 percent in March 2009. Janulaitis suggested some possible reasons for Chrome's decline in an e-mail.

"First is that once people see a basic flaw, like the lack of ability to access XML files with Chrome, they reject it," he wrote. "Also, the small icons that show the sites visited put a lot of users off."

The Apple Safari browser, at 0.6 percent market share in Janco's study, held fifth place. Even the aging Netscape browser beat Safari, although Netscape is no longer supported by AOL. However, at least one study has found higher figures for Safari use, such as Net Applications' Market Share, which found that Safari was used by 6.8 percent in March.

Janco's study, "Browser & OS Market Share White Paper," can be accessed here. About half of those sampled in the study were located in the United States, with 46 percent abroad. The study also provides sampled data on the use of other operating systems besides Vista, according to Janulaitis.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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