There are two facts that you need to keep in mind, the first of which is that worldwide, Internet Explorer 9 appears set to beat the aggregated market shares of Chrome and Firefox on Windows 7. Secondly, in the United States, it already has.
While this is not a complete surprise, given the success of the browser on its home operating system, the lines on the graphs are starting to meet. Check the charts, we’re not kidding:
This is a testament to the power of Windows Update’s ability to move code onto users’ systems, but also to the fact that Internet Explorer 9 is a drastic improvement over its predecessors. Better than Internet Explorer 8, you might say, is not much of an achievement, and that’s a fair point. As you should know by now, however, Internet Explorer 9 is actually quite usable. It’s not as fast as Chrome, nor does it have Firefox’s endless ability to be customized, but for the average consumer, it functions more than well enough.
Microsoft, which is also moving copies of Internet Explorer 9 in newly purchased Windows 7 systems, says that this is why we should care: “[f]or developers this means that most Windows 7 users have a modern browser capable of running exciting, interoperable, HTML5 experiences – allowing developers to use the same markup across their websites.” In other words, Internet Explorer no longer breaks half the Internet, allowing for developers to save time and energy.
Or, Microsoft is effectively saying that its browsing technology is no longer laughably bad. According to Hitslink, Internet Explorer 9 is the fourth most popular browser in the world, and appears set to give Chrome 13 a run for its money.