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Steve Baker

Chief Analyst

So the browser data for February 2012 is out (kindly provided by Stat Counter), and it's not good news for all those IE lovers out there...if there are any. IE 8’s usage has dropped below 20% for the first time, while Chrome continues to scale those dizzy heights to get to almost 30% of worldwide usage. Firefox (v 4+) has seen an improvement too, and this is mainly due to version 10 being much more bug free than earlier versions.

So the browser data for February 2012 is out (kindly provided by Stat Counter), and it's not good news for all those IE lovers out there...if there are any. IE 8’s usage has dropped below 20% for the first time, while Chrome continues to scale those dizzy heights to get to almost 30% of worldwide usage. Firefox (v 4+) has seen an improvement too, and this is mainly due to version 10 being much more bug free than earlier versions.

Expect Chrome v17 to overtake v16 as the most used Chrome version. Stats also show that those slowly becoming disillusioned with IE are switching to Chrome, which will be music to Google’s ears. The fault for this lays firmly at Microsoft’s door. After deciding to stop supporting XP users a while back, these poor souls are left with either the options of continuing to struggle on with IE 8 or later versions (perish the thought of IE 6..), or shifting to Chrome or Firefox. XP still accounts for around of one in three PC users, so this trend isn’t going to reverse any time soon. IE 8’s main failing is its inability to feature basic CSS v3 elements, which allow sides to look much slicker. While Microsoft would love users to move from XP up to Windows 7 or 8, this just isn’t feasible due to cost. As well, businesses are making long term IT plans without the foresight of new Microsoft releases. I still know of some businesses and organisations who have to use IE 6… Once a user shifts browser, it is very difficult to get them to shift back. It becomes a habit, they get used to the interface and tools they can use, and start to settle into using it. The only time I use IE now is for basic testing of websites, and even then I’m increasingly frustrated by its layout and options, purely because they differ from Firefox, which I have setup exactly the way I want. So for now, expect Chrome to continue its march on into the sunset with the gold browser medal. Until Microsoft makes Windows 7/8 upgrades more affordable so users can switch to IE9 (and 10), they have virtually no chance of halting this slide. What are your thoughts on this? Please leave them below!