It seemed like a predictable trend: Watch Internet Explorer’s (IE’s) market share drop. For the longest time, you could count on IE losing Web browser market share and either Chrome or Firefox picking up users. However, the latest October 2012 numbers from NetMarketShare show that IE is continuing to regain lost ground, thus ensuring its rule as the most popular desktop Web browser, with 54 percent of the market worldwide.
IE’s still-above-the-halfway mark is followed by Mozilla’s Firefox with 20 percent and with Google’s Chrome nipping at its heels with 19 percent. The other “popular” Web browsers remain mired in the single digits. Apple’s Safari comes in fourth with 5 percent and Opera takes fifth, hitting 2 percent only because we round up the percentages.
IE has gained half-a-percentage point since September. This came mostly at the expense of Chrome, which dropped 0.31 percent while Firefox lost .09 percent. Those numbers are small enough that formal market researchers would say there’s essentially no change. However, a little more variance is evident if you poke around in the numbers. If you included Chrome pre-rendering, a technique Chrome uses to pre-load Web pages for better effective performance, into the rankings, Chrome would take second place from Firefox, 30 percent to 20 percent, but Chrome’s overall market share would still be slightly declining.