I can’t quite say if this was expected, or surprising, but Internet Explorer 9 has passed 50% market share on Windows 7 in the United States, according to Net Applications’ data that Microsoft is trumpeting.
Why is this unexpected? That Internet Explorer, once a brand that all but written off, is managing a comeback is a surprise, given the depths and lengths of its former troughs. However, that it has passed the 50% mark is also somewhat expected, as it has been growing on Windows 7 for some time.
Last month, the browser sat under 50% market share for Windows 7 machines in the United States, and this month it holds some 52.9%, up around four points. Not bad. Globally, Internet Explorer 9 controls a little over 35% of the Windows 7 market.
Why is that figure so low, given that Windows 7 comes with Internet Explorer 9? Because, well, it didn’t, for some time. This current version of IE only came out a little over a year ago, long after Windows 7 made it to market. So, Microsoft is fighting to both convert IE8 users, and Chrome and Firefox fans.
I can’t comment much on how successful that task is going for the firm, other than to point out that IE appears to have found new footing in the market, but I can reiterate what I think is going on in regards to the growing IE9 figures:
My personal suspicion is that Microsoft is not converting Chrome and Firefox users to Internet Explorer 9, but is instead doing a better job retaining new Windows 7 purchasers’ browser custom. In other words, it may be that fewer people are snagging a new browser with their new PC, and are instead keeping IE9. That would account for the browser’s growth, especially on Windows 7.