Microsoft. Internet Explorer. Giants in the online browser market. Undisputed for years. But since 2003, IEs' dominance has been dropping with a whole host of new browsers vying for attention.
Today Firefox, Safari and Chrome all have solid holds of the market, while Internet Explorer, who once stood tall with a 95 percent market share, holds just 59.9 percent. In fact, Firefox is the browser that has recently grown in leaps and bounds over the past six years, with almost a quarter market share, making third place, Google Chrome's hold just 6.7 percent, rather poor.
It is thought that the primary reason for people moving away from IE has been security concerns. Famously, early in the year, several European governments told their citizens to use an alternative browser after attacks on Google, that Microsoft admitted may have occurred through Internet Explorer 6's security systems.
Despite a new version of IE in development, the loss of users to other browsers has yet to be stemmed. In fact, some figures show that IE has lost six percent of its market share in the past year alone.
Microsoft have also had a ten-year dispute with the European Union over the fairness of IE being installed as the default browser on billions of computers using the Microsoft Windows operating system. As such, users now have a choice of over 12 browsers such as Opera, Mozilla, and Flock.
As such, there is simply a 'greater awareness' regarding browser choice that there was six years ago.
However, Microsoft still have the advantage and with the release of Internet Explorer 9 later this year, the Browser War is far from over.
IE9 is rumoured to support HTML5, the next-generation standard for coding web pages, which aims to reduce the need for software plug-ins, such as Flash. This could make a direct threat to Safari, which is run by Apple and who has banned Flash from many of its products, after a high-profile dispute.
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