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Microsoft Browser Usage Drops 50% As Chrome Soars (networkworld.com) 205

An anonymous reader quotes Network World's report about new statistics from analytics vendor Net Applications: From March 2015 to February 2017, the use of Microsoft's IE and Edge on Windows personal computers plummeted. Two years ago, the browsers were run by 62% of Windows PC owners; last month, the figure had fallen by more than half, to just 27%. Simultaneous with the decline of IE has been the rise of Chrome. The user share of Google's browser -- its share of all browsers on all operating systems -- more than doubled in the last two years, jumping from 25% in March 2015 to 59.5% last month. Along the way, Chrome supplanted IE to become the world's most-used browser...

In the last 24 months, Mozilla's Firefox -- the other major browser alternative to Chrome for macOS users -- has barely budged, losing just two-tenths of a percentage point in user share. [And] in March 2015, an estimated 69% of all Mac owners used Safari to go online. But by last month, that number had dropped to 56%, a drop of 13 percentage points -- representing a decline of nearly a fifth of the share of two years prior.

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Microsoft Browser Usage Drops 50% As Chrome Soars

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  • Anti-Trust (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it's time for DOJ to start taking a closer look at Google. They're using their browser quasi-monopoly to push a lot of other products and services.

    • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:01PM (#53981337)

      Actually, they used their quasi-monopoly on search to push their browser. Anytime you visit Google with a non-Chrome browser it tries to push Chrome on you.

      • Anytime you visit Google with a non-Chrome browser it tries to push Chrome on you.

        You prompted me to try it, went to Google's home page (with Firefox 45.7.0). What you claim did not happen. Sorry.

        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          Maybe they stopped, and I got confused with it's annoying prompt to make Google my default search page in IE when I go to google.com. They absolutely [google.com] used to do push Chrome, a lot, when it first came out.

        • Anytime you visit Google with a non-Chrome browser it tries to push Chrome on you.

          You prompted me to try it, went to Google's home page (with Firefox 45.7.0). What you claim did not happen. Sorry.

          I haven't seen this either on Google's homepage in a while. However, you do get prompted to install Chrome as part of many download installers. At least many have switched the bundled installer to using a legitimate program over malware and spyware.

          • by Raenex ( 947668 )

            Still [image.ibb.co] happens, but it remembers if you decline or it won't prompt if Chrome is already installed, I believe.

        • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Informative)

          by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @01:49AM (#53983277)

          You prompted me to try it, went to Google's home page (with Firefox 45.7.0). What you claim did not happen. Sorry.

          Ok, I read the other comments, and verified [image.ibb.co] that Google search still pushes Chrome. It just remembers if you say no (or it won't ask if you already have it). My link is to a screenshot of a private IE session (no saved cookies). There's a prompt in the upper-right that says, "Google works better with Chrome. Try it?" And two buttons: "NO THANKS" and "YES, GET CHROME".

        • Today when using Chrome (I usually use Firefox) Google's search page suggested that I should make Chrome my default browser. I said no. Next time I went to Google's search page it suggested I should make Google my home page. Color me annoyed, and color Google evil.

      • Quasi-Monopoly? Bing and Yahoo would disagree with you, but I get your point.

      • Actually, they used their quasi-monopoly on search to push their browser. Anytime you visit Google with a non-Chrome browser it tries to push Chrome on you.

        The epitome of fake news - good work.

        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          The epitome of fake news - good work.

          Just took a screenshot [image.ibb.co] of a private session without cookies. It just remembers if you decline.

          • Is that Internet Explorer or Edge in your screenshot? Because I just did the same thing with a private session without cookies on Firefox and did not see the prompt. Maybe, if you're using Internet Explorer or Edge, it really does work better with Chrome?

      • Actually, they used their quasi-monopoly on search to push their browser. Anytime you visit Google with a non-Chrome browser it tries to push Chrome on you.

        Funny you mentioned that... because every time I fire up Chrome in Windows 10 it gives me some Ad pop-up saying how much faster Edge is than Chrome or how much safer it is. I think things are getting pretty bad for the Edge browser stats... if they have to get the OS folks push their browser.

    • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:4, Informative)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:35PM (#53981499)

      Perhaps in the future but unlike Microsoft who's goal was to make the web MS only. Google just want to push the standards so they can advertise more. They are not actively trying to stop Firefox users or even I.E. users from using their services. It is just that chime better support the standards and is fast.

      If you are old enough to remember the browser wars. Both Netscape and I.E. were putting in browser specific features. Netscape was using layers while I.E. pushed CSS. Also Active X which risked security over speed because it made the browser a window frame for their own application.

      • Re:Anti-Trust (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @05:30PM (#53981697)

        You do realise that what you described from the bad old days is almost exactly what Google have been doing with Chrome for some time? The modern Google playbook seems to include custom protocols, supporting perma-beta or "living" standards that are implemented a certain way in Chrome but not actually supported or implemented quite the same way elsewhere, and dropping support for older but widely used functionality. How is this not like Microsoft's playbook from the end of the first big browser war?

        This comment is best viewed in Chrome with a bland, flat design (because there are so may bugs in our rendering that "advanced" CSS like gradients, shadows and rounded corners will break if you look at them the wrong way and they'll break differently in six weeks' time even if you work around the current issues).

      • If you are old enough to remember the browser wars. Both Netscape and I.E. were putting in browser specific features. Netscape was using layers while I.E. pushed CSS. Also Active X which risked security over speed because it made the browser a window frame for their own application.

        Netscape started out loudly wanting to replace all other platforms with their web technology. They gave away their browser, which contained proprietary tags, and produced proprietary server technology that their browser could take advantage of.

        This doesn't excuse in any form what Microsoft did in response, but Netscape intended to do the same thing that Microsoft did in reaction to their moves.

        Netscape, one must remember, was formed out of the move of driving the Mosaic browser technology, which was public

    • Maybe it's time for DOJ to start taking a closer look at Google. They're using their browser quasi-monopoly to push a lot of other products and services.

      What's the quasi monopoly? On my laptop, I have Chrome, IE, Edge, Firefox and Pale Moon. And there is Opera as well. And Safari, if one is talking about Macs or iOS. If you're thinking about phones or tablets, there are plenty of other browsers for those as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 05, 2017 @03:41PM (#53981255)

    We need a Bane of the browser world. Someone who will crash the web with no survivors!
    I'm sure the GNOME developers are up for the challenge.

  • by mprindle ( 198799 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @03:43PM (#53981261)

    In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work. It's more and more that vendors are not requiring IE and have gone one additional step. They now recommend a different browser like Chrome or FireFox. I have run across a few packages that almost refuse to render correctly in IE.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:02PM (#53981341)

      In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

      Since Google chose to split their code base off from WebKit, my fear is we'll start seeing this with Chrome if it becomes too ubiquitous.

      I understand that the stated reason for doing this was to drive development of web standards forward... but, back in the day, Microsoft used similar language. It's not like anyone ever says "we're doing everything we can to force you to remain within our control".

      • by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @10:13PM (#53982755) Homepage

        In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

        Since Google chose to split their code base off from WebKit, my fear is we'll start seeing this with Chrome if it becomes too ubiquitous.

        I'm pretty sure its already happening. Chrome is basically becoming the new MSIE. I see plenty of "internal" stuff that doesn't work well in Firefox, and there's a common attitude of looking at you funny for not using Chrome when you complain. I also see plenty of "check out our newly refreshed site design!" that's an unusably broken or sluggish POS if you're not using Chrome.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Since Google chose to split their code base off from WebKit, my fear is we'll start seeing this with Chrome if it becomes too ubiquitous.

        I understand that the stated reason for doing this was to drive development of web standards forward... but, back in the day, Microsoft used similar language. It's not like anyone ever says "we're doing everything we can to force you to remain within our control".

        Thankfully though, even though Chrome forked WebKit, there's still active development on both and I'm sure neit

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The problem was that WebKit wanted to keep a lot of old hacks around, and Google wanted to deprecate them. All the vendor prefix stuff, for example. Google ripped out a lot of compatibility code and support for old crap that was preventing them from improving the browser's sandbox.

        It's not so much Blink that is the problem, it's that Chrome and Google Search are so dominant. Blink is still open source (BSD/GPL). What gives Google the power to force issues is that if they change their search algo to downgrad

    • In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

      If you use Selenium, you HAVE to use Firefox, or it won't work. So I use Chrome for browsing and Firefox for web-scripting.

      • Um, I've used Selenium on multiple projects across the main three browsers. Yes, FF is built in, but that shouldn't significantly slow you down.

    • In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

      Or the website nagged you to use IE, even though it worked fine in other browsers. Back then, to get the website to STFU, non-IE users arranged spoofing to make the website think they were using IE even though they were not.

      • In years past to use some web based software supplied by vendor you HAD to use IE or it wouldn't work.

        Or the website nagged you to use IE, even though it worked fine in other browsers. Back then, to get the website to STFU, non-IE users arranged spoofing to make the website think they were using IE even though they were not.

        Working in a big corporation I have noticed that there internal websites put up by more or less non technical departments. These are the ones that always come with arbitrary browser incompatibility problem. I can point to the main employee web page (the sort with the 'ra-ra aren't we great' articles and the links to things like the travel and paystub portals) which as of one week ago just returned "[this website] is incompatible with Chrome version 56 please use a different browser. ".

        All the web sites fro

  • Edge is a disgrace (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @03:43PM (#53981265)

    Since MS replaced IE with Edge and Edge isn't even remotely feature complete, buggy and extremely crash prone, it's no wonder people are rushing to alternatives.

    Firefox has all but given up trying to improve. That leaves Chrome and a plethora of browsers that use the Chrome rendering engine. We're going to see a one browser internet here pretty soon.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 05, 2017 @03:53PM (#53981297)

      > Firefox has all but given up trying to improve.

      IDK, Firefox usage share hasn't budged an inch in the last two years and they've been making a lot of big changes. Going to 64 bit, moving to multi-process, consolidating the platforms for add-ons. And those are only a few of the changes they have been working on recently. People complain about how many sweeping changes Firefox is making, so how can you say they've given up?

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by TodPunk ( 843271 )

        I can say that while Firefox people definitely haven't "given up," they keep killing every feature people love, and bringing in features that their core demographic doesn't care about. 64-bit doesn't matter, it has to be installed differently and my mother isn't going to figure out how or which version she's launching. Multi-process? For what? Javascript apps are still going to run in a single thread, and background tabs are still going to be slowed to a crawl. If they don't, nobody will notice anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by sumdumass ( 711423 )

        Firefox's problem is that they do not listen to actual users and their social agenda which many find distrusting (the entire Brendan Eich thing and the SJW rules in rust code of conduct).

        I somewhat stopped evangelizing it a bit earlier when it became bloaty and started straying from the light and fast browser it used to be. Chrome filled the gap nicely and I became use to it from various android devices so I didn't need to relearn or re-familiarize myself with the layout every other release. Right now, I wi

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          At this moment is does not really matter what FireFox or Chrome or Opera or what anyone else does. What is killing M$, 'Windows Watching You Masturbate', is decimating M$ across all platforms they do not have an application and data lock on. Nothing more than that. People can pretend otherwise but the subconscious is a powerful motivator. So they sit back to enjoy a hormonal adjustment and part way through, that through creeps in, corporate douches are monitoring me and Windows Is Watching and that is a moo

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        Don't forget tracking protection. That was a pretty big deal.

      • They've given up listening to community feedback, which effectively is the same as giving up on improvement.

        The Australis UI was a change, but not an improvement. Forced extension signing. Breaking multitudes of extensions with the multiprocessing updates, and soon they'll be replacing the existing extension framework entirely in favor of something Chrome-like -- that nobody actually wants and developers are livid about. Plugins are going away but Flash will be built-in, just like with Chrome. Memory us

      • Personally, I'm still on Firefox because it's still for me the best browser not because I like their changes of the last few versions.
        I'm glad it hasn't affected their marketshare much because having Firefox is good for diversity and for the web ecosystem (if anything to prevent Chrome from becoming the next IE). But they aren't done with the disruptive changes: Some time this year (I think it was in version 57) the old style add ons/extensions will cease to work and with them it'll dissapear one of the mo
      • so how can you say they've given up?

        He didn't say they gave up working. He said they gave up trying to improve.

        You said it yourself, people are complaining about the sweeping changes. They aren't improvements. In many ways very little of the work Mozilla has done in the past 2 years has been things the users have wanted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I love the "alt facts." Firefox has never caused me a hint of trouble on my computers unlike Chrome that eats up ALL available memory and slows things down to a crawl. Firefox IS improving. Some people just prefer to let ignorance rule their life view.

      • I use the Dragon browser (based on Firefox) on my low end Windows 10 pc as Firefox proper has a nasty habbit of locking that computer tight for upwards of a couple minutes as I am trying to use it. Edge isn't really any better. Using Dragon solved this problem
      • I stuck with Firefox for a long, long time. But the Mac version of Firefox has all the problems you ascribe to Chrome - if you don't restart it every few hours, it eats up memory and eventually brings the machine to a crawl. Since web development tools are available for all the major browsers nowadays, I eventually switched to Safari. I keep Chrome around for those few sites that still require Flash; and Firefox has been relegated to testing duty (meaning I only use it when an end user reports a problem on

        • by Rufty ( 37223 )

          I can use Firefox for hours before I have to kill it to free memory. I can use Chrome for weeks before I have to kill it to free memory.

        • by Octorian ( 14086 )

          Firefox on Linux seems to get progressively more sluggish the longer its been running, and occasionally has unusably sluggish performance on some recently redesigned forum sites. Yet somehow, I never see any performance problems with Firefox on Windows.

          I don't pay attention to RAM consumption too often, but maybe that's just because I've got a few too many gobs of it these days.

      • I gave up on Firefox when they became Chrome Jr. and added a voice chat feature. Nobody asked for any of that.

        • by Trongy ( 64652 )

          I wasn't impressed by Mozilla adding the voice chat myself.

          However, they must have got the message, because Firefox removed the voice chat feature a couple of releases ago.

      • Firefox has never caused me a hint of trouble on my computers unlike Chrome that eats up ALL available memory and slows things down to a crawl.

        Just wait a bit and Mozilla will copy it and put it in Firefox. ;)

      • Right. Chrome can only handle a fraction of the tabs that Firefox can, and I use lots of tabs so Chrome doesn't work for me. Plus, it likes to reload every tab on start, that is a deal breaker.

    • MS Edge at least mostly complies with web standards. That's what matters to me.

      So many less issues with projects rendering or behaving differently and having to include kludge code just to keep the clients/users happy.

      With that said I still nearly exclusively use Firefox and occasionally Chromium for development testing. I also use Linux so many other browsers are not possible to use, and the others I just don't trust.

    • IE is still there and as far as I can tell still the default in Win10. If I go to start in my Win10 install and type 'browser' it gives me IE.
    • by jon3k ( 691256 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:46PM (#53981557)

      Firefox has all but given up trying to improve.

      You really don't know what you're talking about [mozilla.org].

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Too bad people don't know that they can still run old IE11. I don't understand why MS can't improve its Edge. :(

    • Firefox has all but given up trying to improve.

      Disagree. Firefox has gotten noticeably faster recently.

    • Not to mention it seems like any Windows app takes forever just to load.

    • Since MS replaced IE with Edge and Edge isn't even remotely feature complete, buggy and extremely crash prone, it's no wonder people are rushing to alternatives.

      Firefox has all but given up trying to improve. That leaves Chrome and a plethora of browsers that use the Chrome rendering engine. We're going to see a one browser internet here pretty soon.

      On Windows, I use PaleMoon. On iOS, Safari. On Android, Chrome. There is Opera as well. How are we getting to a monopoly?

  • Firefox is going to lose another point if it doesn't stop fucking up on me.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:25PM (#53981455)

    I decided to RTFA. The article is actually about the 13% decline in Safari's user share on Mac - the IE/Edge plummet is just mentioned as a small side note. But the submitter spun it to be about MS's browser.

    Interestingly, the article says we can't know for certain what the users who've abandoned Safari have switched to... which seems odd. Sure, some Slashdotters may switch user agent strings... but it's hard to argue that average users do. So it should be a simple matter to determine if Chrome's Mac user base has increased commensurately.

    • "So it should be a simple matter to determine if Chrome's Mac user base has increased commensurately."

      This wouldn't tell you that the Safari users moved to Chrome, just that about the same number of users moved from somewhere to Chromes as moved from Safari to somewhere.

      E.g. If two users moves from A to B and two users move from B to C, A has lost as many users as C has gained two users but that doesn't mean that any moved directly from A to C.

      This mistake is particularly noticeable in parliamentary electi

    • by Kergan ( 780543 )

      Safari on Mac usage dropping is no surprise. I'm still resisting, but an ever increasing number of SaaS products only work properly in or offer browser plugins for Chrome. Starting with Google's own products (docs, third party gmail plugins plugins, etc.).

  • by Quakeulf ( 2650167 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @04:32PM (#53981483)
    F U C K C H R O M E
  • Firefox became a bloated monster (built in weird chat client, seriously?). Microsoft ... well, yeah. Opera became ... skinned Chrome. What's left? Chrome.
  • What's 50% of 1%??

    The only thing I ever used Internet Exploder for was to download Firefox. You mean it can browse the web too?

  • by Mandrel ( 765308 ) on Sunday March 05, 2017 @05:57PM (#53981817)
    Although Edge supports extensions, and Chrome extensions can be easily ported, Microsoft still hasn't fully opened submissions to their extension gallery. At the moment you have to be invited to submit [microsoft.com], and there are currently only 23 listed [microsoft.com].
  • That means 27% users are not computer aware enough to install and use another browser.
    • Or they may have so little storage that they don't wanna waste any space w/ redundant apps, like browsers
  • In the last 24 months, Mozilla's Firefox -- the other major browser alternative to Chrome for macOS users...

    Umm, Safari, anyone? I guess that's probably true if we ignore Safari, but that would be like ignoring IE on Windows. (This makes a bit more sense in the context of TFA, from which the editor and/or submitter carelessly plagiarized this paragraph, as the article as a whole is talking about Safari's recent 13% decline on macOS...but you think someone might have read this before posting.)

    • Are they talking only about laptops, or tablets/phones as well? Microsoft liked to conflate the 2 when reporting Windows 10 numbers. If we do the same here, then Safari grows bigly thanks to iPhones alone, as well as iPads
  • Want to use a free and open browser, but don't want to be subjected to security vulnerabilities like openSSL (Firefox). Want to use a fast browser with good js performance, but don't want to be spied on (Chrome). Want to use a browser adding innovative features and supporting open web standards, but don't want to use proprietary software owned by the Chinese (Opera). Want a web browser, but not one from a company with a history of trying to break and subvert open standards (IE). Advice?
  • Chrome == IE6 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @12:16AM (#53983051)

    Chrome is at a position which IE6 used to be. They don't care.

    They first killed NPAPI plugs so that Java Applets don't work. So we moved to JNLP. Then they have a bug by which JNLP cannot be autolaunched in Chrome like it can in IE & Firefox. So if it's a weblaunched JNLP, users have to save the JNLP file & then run it which is troublesome for a lot of lay users. This bug exists for 4-5 years & there are multiple bug ids for it. But it never get fixed. Then there is another bug by which when you save the JNLP files after 99 JNLP files - no more can be saved & or run.

    Chrome doesn't care to fix these bugs because what do they lose if they don't fix it.

  • I'd give Microsoft a chance with new versions of IE or Edge, but they never f*cking learn.
    https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]
    No pitty. Better luck on the next time Microsoft renames the browser yet again to try to erase it's bad fame.

  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday March 06, 2017 @05:21AM (#53983863) Homepage Journal

    At least none of my searches on those key terms found anything, though that's the main exposure to "Edge" that I've seen. Actually seems to be increasing lately. Not that I actually use Outlook. No compelling reason, and the negative feelings towards the google are not significantly different from my sentiments towards Microsoft.

    My feelings towards Edge are much worse, and the nagging isn't helping. However it seems that no one on Slashdot has noticed. Or maybe none of them are using Outlook.com or seeing any Edge plugs anywhere else?

    No funny posts either, but the target wasn't rich this time. Microsoft has become too boring to be funny.

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