Browser wars: four years of PC Pro site stats

9 Aug 2012
browser wars

A look at four years of PC Pro visitor stats reveals which browsers have risen and fallen in popularity

What browser do you currently use? Four years ago, more than half of our site visitors were using Internet Explorer, but today that figure is less than a quarter.

The rise and fall of various browsers is well documented, but it's always interesting to analyse the market from a particular point of view - say, that of a UK-based technology website. Luckily, we have the stats to do just that.

We'll begin with the two figures we've already mentioned. Here's the breakdown of everyone who visited the site in the month of July 2008, and below that the figures for July 2012.

(Roll over segments for the full figures.)

The rise of Chrome is the obvious standout, but there's more to the market changes than Google's browser. The next chart shows the changes in the visitor share of the main browsers over the past four years. It's not hard to see the patterns.

Right now, the top three browsers are all pretty even among PC Pro visitors - at the last count there was less than 3% between them. Firefox and Internet Explorer have snaked around one another as they both decline, and Chrome finally edged ahead of them in our stats in April this year.

Opera has stayed steady throughout, but Safari's share has been rising since mid-2010, when the first iPad was launched, with Safari as its browser. This also tallies with the figures we looked at a few weeks ago, showing the current mobile visitor share at around 14%.

There's one more figure we can break down even further. Unlike Firefox and Chrome's numbers, that IE line is actually the sum total of all of its major release versions - this next graph splits that up.

Of July 2008's total share of just over 50%, around two-thirds was IE7 and the rest IE6 - which amazingly was still being used by PC Pro readers until the start of this year.

IE8 first registered in our stats in September 2008, quickly cutting into IE7's share. In September 2010 IE9 was next to arrive, but even now it doesn't have much presence among PC Pro readers, with a 4% share.

Microsoft has a job on its hands if IE10 is going to make a significant impact, and as we've seen with Safari, Windows 8 tablets may be exactly the weapon to use.

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