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Browser wars revisited

browser window
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



131 comments
Dalva Carrijo
Dalva Carrijo

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

Dalva Carrijo
Dalva Carrijo

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

Vitor Dias Gonçalves
Vitor Dias Gonçalves

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

Kunal Sharma
Kunal Sharma

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

Kunal Sharma
Kunal Sharma

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

staticred
staticred

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

@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
AlanBailward

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

Alexandre Lopes
Alexandre Lopes

Chrome It's fast, but don't has security, support for group police and some others important stuffs for network admins.

Alexandre Lopes
Alexandre Lopes

Chrome It's fast, but don't has security, support for group police and some others important stuffs for network admins.

Rigifix
Rigifix

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

Rigifix
Rigifix

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

vancouvergadget
vancouvergadget

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

DanaEpp
DanaEpp

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

DanaEpp
DanaEpp

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

TheTysonReport
TheTysonReport

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

TheTysonReport
TheTysonReport

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

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

Rigifix
Rigifix

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

vancouvergadget
vancouvergadget

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

@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
DanaEpp

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

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

DanaEpp
DanaEpp

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

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
DanaEpp

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

AlanBailward
AlanBailward

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

DanaEpp
DanaEpp

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