IE's Domination of Web Grows "It hasn't been significantly updated since 1998, but Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues to dominate the Web, garnering a record market share of 95.4 percent, according to real-time web analytics firm OneStat.com. What's more, IE has garnered its highest usage level ever at a time when other browsers, such as Mozilla Firebird and Apple Safari, have earned record amounts of publicity for adding crucial features IE lacks, including pop-up ad blocking and a tabbed user interface that optionally negates the need for opening multiple browser windows.
The number one browser overall, Internet Explorer 6.0, controls 66.3 percent of the market, compared to 14.5 percent for IE 5.5 and 12.7 for IE 5.0. Mozilla is in fourth place with 1.6 percent of the market, but the total market share for browsers based on Mozilla technology is about 4.1 percent. Alternative browsers such as Opera and Safari barely register on the chart, with 0.6 and 0.25 percent of the market, respectively; both are used less frequently than the legacy Netscape Navigator 4.x browser, which also hails from the late 1990's.
In recent months, Microsoft has sharply altered its Web browser strategy, largely because IE is so dominate and there is little pressure to provide users with constant updates. The next major IE revision will come with IE 7.0, part of the Windows Longhorn release, now due in 2005. However, Microsoft will release a pop-up ad blocking feature as part of its upcoming MSN 9 software, a subscriber-fee browser product that is based on IE technology. MSN users today are enjoying the sort of rapid product updates that IE users once enjoyed; Microsoft released MSN 8 in October 2002 and followed that up with a version 8.5 release last month. MSN 9 will ship by the end of the year, Microsoft says."