After 21 years Microsoft's reign at the top of the browser market has officially come to an end! According to the most recent analytics Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) continued its downward spiral and has officially relinquished the No. 1 spot to Google's Chrome browser. Marking a major milestone not only in IE's 21-year lifespan, but a dramatic changing of the desktop browser guard.
Over the past several years Microsoft has seen Internet Explorer's market share repeatedly dip in favor of up and coming browsers from Google, Mozilla and Opera. However, not once have we seen any of those companies manage to topple Microsoft from the number one spot. According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, during the month of April we saw Chrome do just that.
Net Applications reports that "IE" -- fell 2
percentage points in April, the fifth straight month of a loss greater
than a point, and the 16th of any size -- to end at 41.4% of the total
global browser user share. Meanwhile, Chrome climbed 2.6 percentage points to take a narrow lead with 41.7%.
Computerworld has attributed IE's decline to Microsoft's August 2014 announcement that users of older versions had to upgrade,
in most cases, to IE11, by Jan. 12, 2016. Since the announcement, IE
has lost more than 17.1 percentage points of user share, representing a 29%
By forcing customers to upgrade to a newer version of IE -- or
alternately, turn to Windows 10 and its default browser Edge -- Microsoft
demanded that users change browsers. That had appears to have had a disastrous impact on
IE's user share as people rethought their browser choice, and then
abandoned Microsoft's browsers for rivals' -- notably Chrome.
Another very plausible cause for users making the change, and one I see as being slightly more likely, is that more users are becoming more familiar with Chrome from the uptake in usage of Google's other services and through Android on their mobile devices. As more companies incorporate Google's services like Drive and Docs, more users are finding it easier to migrate to Chrome and its built in cross functionality. The same with Android users that may in the past have not seen the benefit of using Chrome but now are as they typically have a Google account and use Google's services through Android.