If you thought Microsoft’s venerable Internet Explorer browser was the most used browser in the world you could be forgiven. If this were 1999. But here we are moving rapidly into the 21st century and, well, things have changed. And what has changed is all about numbers.
Do You Miss IE?
It wasn’t that long ago that Apple’s Mac had less than 5-percent of the world’s PC marketshare, with Windows-based PCs taking over almost everything else. The most popular, or, rather, the most used PC browser was Internet Explorer.
Those days are gone, folks.
Today, Windows isn’t even the world’s most popular operating system. That crown belongs to Google’s Android OS, now on over 1.5-billion smartphones and tablets worldwide. Most of those devices run Google’s Chrome as the default web browser, so, ipso facto, alakazam, Voila! Chrome is used more than any device platform; more than Internet Explorer.
Well, that must mean Microsoft’s aging browser platform is close behind, right? Yes. It’s close behind– behind Apple’s Safari browser, but in third place, far, far behind Chrome. That’s according to the federal government, the same folks who can’t find billions of dollars in expenditures each year, but manage to track browser usage as if it mattered.
Still, numbers don’t lie. Unless they’re lies, damned lies, and the aforementioned statistics. Chrome is one of the most used browsers on Windows PCs, used by a sizable chunk of Mac, iPhone, and iPad users, and that makes it numero uno in total. But Apple’s device count of Mac, iPhone, and iPad now exceeds more than 1-billion devices, and Safari is the most used browser on all of them, so that gives Apple a leg up on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Hey, what about Mozilla’s Firefox? Yeah, about that; see, that was then and this is now, and Firefox had its day but just doesn’t have a platform to stand on these days, losing marketshare to Google on PCs and Macs, and not faring well at all on mobile devices where the race pretty much boils down to Chrome and Safari.
To be honest, the survey above is a count of users and their browsers that visit US government websites, so it’s likely to be statistics that are skewed this way or that way, but that’s what statistics do, right?
There are some interesting sidebars to the statistics the government gathers about web browsers. Which website run by the government gets the most visitors? The US Postal Service. Then, the IRS (at least, at this time of year), followed by the National Weather Service, and the Social Security Administration.
Regardless, with more than 1-billion active devices online these days, Apple’s numbers for almost anything are impressive, especially when compared to Microsoft on mobile devices.