Explorer retains massive lead in browser war

20 Dec 2002

Dutch analyst firm OneStat has found that Microsoft Internet Explorer now enjoys a huge lead in the web browser market.

In a report published this week, it found that Internet Explorer has a total global usage share of 95pc. The global usage share of Netscape is 3pc and it is the second most popular browser in the world.

The US giant’s market share is divided between several versions of the browser, with the most recent version, Internet Explorer 6 leading with just over 57pc. The figures confirm Microsoft’s domination of the market and are a far cry from the days when Netscape ruled the roost.

Open source browser, Mozilla, came in with a market share of 1.1pc, while the much touted Opera browser has a market share of 0.8pc. Such small market shares have raised concerns that the figures do not take into account the fact that many sites optimised for Internet Explorer do not allow browsers such as Opera to view them. Opera combats this by using a tool that allows it to register as Internet Explorer on a site. However, OneStat confirmed this week that such workarounds had been taken into account when compiling the figures. The research was based on a sample of two million website visitors.

Much of Microsoft’s dominance is no doubt due to its huge chunk of the operating systems market. Internet Explorer is bundled with Microsoft Windows, an issue that caused much controversy a few years ago. Despite the fact that the company has opened up Windows to allow for other default browsers, the fact that Internet Explorer is pre-installed on new PCs means that it is likely to have a bearing on a user’s choice of browser.

By Dick O’Brien