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03 April 2012, 11:40

Internet Explorer reverses downward trend

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Internet Explorer logo Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) web browser is regaining lost users. According to the latest analysis by US market research company Net Applications, IE was the only browser to increase its user share in March, strengthening its market leadership by climbing from 52.84% in February to 53.83% in March. Both open source browsers, Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome, saw slight drops in market share.

To put this in perspective, one year ago, Internet Explorer still had a market share of 57.82%. Firefox usage fell from 20.92% to 20.55% in March, with Chrome seeing a fall from 18.9% to 18.57%. Bringing up the rear were Apple's Safari, with a market share of 5.07% (previously 5.24%), and Opera, with 1.62% (previously 1.71%).

Despite the growing use of mobile devices to get online, the vast majority of internet access still involves a standard desktop computer, though the desktop share did fall slightly, from 95.8% in February to 92.5% in March. 7.2% of users used smartphones or tablets to access the web, compared to just 3.9% a year ago. The mobile version of Safari on iOS leads the way with a 60.5% market share, followed by Android (18.3%) and Opera Mini (15.4%). Net Applications' statistics are based on visitors to web sites for which it produces access statistics. They are not, therefore, representative of internet users as a whole. For example, on The H, Firefox and Chrome had a 35% and 32% share of visits, while IE languished at 8%.


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