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Browser wars revisited

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SUMMARY: Latest status in the browser wars: Chrome up, Firefox and IE down. #browserwars Tweet this

The “Browser Wars” is an ongoing struggle between three, maybe four actors.

Last year, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer each dominated two regions of the world.

Now, Internet Explorer and Safari keep losing ground, and one browser strengthens its claim to the web browsing throne. Which browser that is comes as no surprise, but some other developments may.

We hereby present this year’s update to the desktop browser wars. First, we give you an overview of the current standings worldwide before we go in to the different regions one by one.

Browser wars by region

Google Chrome is now the most popular browser in four out of six regions around the world. Only users in North America and Oceania seem to still prefer Internet Explorer over Chrome.

Browser usage worldwide february 2013
You can download a larger version of this chart

Browser usage world wide 2011 2013
You can download a larger version of this chart.

It was only two years ago that Internet Explorer was the dominant browser in the world with about 45% of desktop usage. Today, its share is around 30% and falling.

During the same period, Chrome and Safari are the only two browsers in the top five that have gained in popularity.

Browser version ww top 10

Google has with Chrome achieved a very high efficiency in keeping users’ browsers up to date. Chrome’s total usage share is 37% compared to Chrome version 25.0, which, by itself has 33%.

Internet Explorer 10.0, released in August 2012, has yet to reach any significant usage share worldwide. Maybe this is because it only runs on the later versions of Windows.

Let us now take a closer look at the different regions.

Web browser usage in Africa

Since last year, Chrome has taken over the lead in Africa from Firefox. The biggest loser in this region is Internet Explorer that has fallen from 29% to “only” 18%. Firefox has the second highest usage rate in Africa at 37%, compared to almost 40% last year.

Browser usage africa 2013

Browser version africa top 10

Together with South America, Africa is the only region where Firefox 3.6 is still in the top 10. One explanation to this could be that 3.6 was the last version of Firefox before Mozilla started its 6-week rapid release schedule.

Web browser usage in Asia

Chrome has extended its lead in Asia. But perhaps even more interesting is that the “Others” have grown from 1% last year to 3% this year. The browsers with the largest usage shares in this category are Android (0.95%), Yandex (0.56%) and Soguo Explorer (0.51%).

Browser usage asia 2013

Browser version asia top 10

When a new release of Chrome appears, the previous version seems to die rather quickly. In Asia we can se one exception to this. There, Chrome 21.0 is still one of the ten largest browser versions.

Web browser usage in Europe

Last year, Firefox was the leading browser in Africa and Europe. In both regions, it appears that Chrome has increased in usage at the expense of Internet Explorer.

At 2% usage share, Europe, together with Africa, is also the strongest region for Opera.

Browser usage europe 2013

Browser version europe top 10

Web browser usage in North America

North America is still Internet Explorer’s stronghold, and even though it is getting smaller there to, the decline is not as rapid as elsewhere. Over the year, its usage share has fallen to 39% from 40%. Chrome is in second place at 28%.

Browser usage north america 2013

Browser version north america top 10

Internet Explorer may be the most used browser in North America, but when it comes to individual browser versions Chrome 25.0 is at the top of the list with 24.8%.

There are only two versions of Chrome on the list (24.0 and 25.0), but three versions of Internet Explorer (8.0, 9.0, and 10.0).

Web browser usage in Oceania

Internet Explorer also leads the browser usage in Oceania, but for how long? The gap between Chrome at 29% and Internet Explorer at 33% is getting smaller.

Oceania is the only region where Safari trumps Firefox, reaching the third place with 19% usage share. Including Safari iPad, four of the top ten browser versions are Safari in this region.

Browser usage oceania 2013

Browser version oceania top 10

Web browser usage in South America

If the Browser Wars would really be called just that, Chrome would already have won decisively  in South America.

At 59% usage share for Chrome, the gap to Internet Explorer at 20% and Firefox at 19% is huge.

Browser usage south america 2013

Browser version south america top 10

The browser wars continue

The choice of web browser is for some a very personal decision. Perhaps you have your own personal favorite and try to convince others about its merits. For now it seems like the flavor of the year is Google Chrome for a big chunk of users. This may change, but probably not anytime soon.

Do you have a personal favorite web browser you usually stick to over time? Or do you switch between browsers or even use several browsers? Please let us know via Twitter or in the comments below.

Data: For this article we used web browsing usage share numbers from StatCounter, which are based on visitor statistics averaged from 3+ million websites. In August 2012, StatCounter’s global sample consisted of over 17.1 billion page views.

Image top by Shutterstock


>not using Chrome
Not even once

y u no use Firefox?

Safariiiii :) )

Naylla Fernandes de Leça

March 21st, 2013 at 10:19 am

Ainda tem gente que usa ie?

Ferdi De La Haya

March 21st, 2013 at 10:21 am

Oceania the only one where Safari made it to the top 3!! I LIKE!

IE down ! P0wned !

IE down ! P0wned !

its a mobile and PC stats ? or only PC ?

its a mobile and PC stats ? or only PC ?

It’s desktop browsing.

pingdom interesting, thanks!

OMG!!! A large amount of visitors are still using IE? wtf:s i want to see IE’s defeat


What about Central America?

Sån här statistik gillar jag:
“pingdom: Browser wars revisited”

Bhaskar Banerjee

March 21st, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Chrome all the way.

Where would I find reliable browser stats for Scandinavia?

RT kwang82: 로열핑덤의 브라우저 점유율 분석. 스탯카운터 데이터 기준이라서 크롬이 1위. 브라우저 점유율은 조사기업에 따라 다르기 때문에 참고만 하시길.

Opera anyone?

Gerard Przychodzeń

March 22nd, 2013 at 2:51 am

Chrome = Speed

Noob Americans


Chrome m/

Ie sucks

Google gonna rule the world???

lucasng oh Netscape navigator how I miss your spinning green logo…

j0ssh old school.

OnlineStrategy Haven’t used IE for years. Much prefer Firefox, Safari or Chrome

vancouvergadget I hear you. It always surprises me that IE is used by so many, especially in North America!

OnlineStrategy They were brainwashed way back when IE and Netscape battled and IE won

TheTysonReport I’m a chrome person, but I will tolerate others if I need them for various plugins etc

Rigifix I use Chrome too – and now find it very hard to tolerate the slowness of others in comparison!

TheTysonReport me too. I like firefox for extensions but the interface is really dated.

@sieem using chrome is like driving a car made by exxon…

I don’t see why you would say that. All websites are rendered properly, I got all the features I need, all the extensions I need and it’s not a sluggy browser or whatever. In the first days of Chrome it was also a loooooot faster than Firefox. But it’s not a good idea that you get webkit only implements in css. But for now, it’s good.

@sieem it’s mainly because using a browser created by a company which revenues comes mainly from internet ads is not necesseraly a good idea for the future of the web and the users data freedom.


@rbag But why should that be a bad idea? If Google decides to lock something in Chrome, or change a privacy setting, I just change my browser. But for now, I don’t see this happening, it still wants people on the internet to get their revenue, instead of scaring them away.

 Google already changed that ! why do you think it took so long to implement the “do not track” functionnality ?

@rbag Install an extension and voila you’ve that functionality. On the other hand, do you want to have paid or free internet?

@sieem You’re way of think reminds me that:×320.png

@rbag I know I’m a product on facebook, but I don’t care. Is it so bad to have personalised ads? Your information is probably being sold, but it’s only bots that read it, is that so bad? I don’t think so, ok, they’re able to read everything, but if you’ve a billion users, nobody will read all of it..

Chrome Brasil

DanaEpp Mac + Linux :P Sounds like that’s not a good thing though, based on your bootstrap issues :) Thankfully it’s declining it seems.

AlanBailward Freak. While I love how Chrome renders like a boss, I hate that its autoupdate and autoplugin install is like the mafia.

DanaEpp Simple solution is to use Linux. You have to apt-get update to get the new version!

AlanBailward No no no. I don’t WANT the autoupdate. Driveby updates are a security nightmare to monitor.

DanaEpp That’s what I mean, it doesn’t autoupdate, you have to update it manually (pita for those who want autoupdate) :)

AlanBailward What, Linux needing to do manual package management or compiles. Say it isn’t so… =)

DanaEpp No compiling and no more manual than a normal update. But you still have to initiate it (like telling windows update to update)

DanaEpp AlanBailward We’re still having to support IE7 on some projects.

some people tweak there browser settings to show ie or something else when they instead use chrome or firefox how to consider that?


Vitor Dias Gonçalves

April 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 pm

This proofs what we are all thinking: Americans are extremely stupid and they use explorer

Chrome for Mac…

Um dia você me explica o que é isto que você e o Adauto Leme tanto curte?

Lucas Desimoni

May 1st, 2013 at 5:55 pm