predictions for browser market share - january


We're one week away from the next installment of Net Application's monthly global browser market share report so once again I'm posting my prediction for how I think it'll turn out.

First, after an awesome November and December where Firefox picked up a total of 1.37 points to end the year with 21.34% of the global market, many predicted that it was all or mostly attributable to the holiday season which usually favors non-IE browsers and that Firefox would give up some or all of those gains in January. Not so, I'm predicting. Firefox is likely to even add a fraction to its December measure with the January number right about 21.5%.

Next, all eyes have been on Google's Chrome over the last few months so what happens (or doesn't happen) there will no doubt get lots of attention. After a pretty exciting launch that saw some initial usage numbers above 1.15%, Chrome fell back to a pretty steady level of around 0.8% for the next three months until Chrome 1.0 was released. The 1.0 release pushed Chrome up to 1.04% for the month of December. January will probably see Chrome increase to just under 1.09% for a January gain of about 1/20th of a point. Even at the end of its 5th month, though, Chrome still hasn't been able to put in a month that matches the usage of those first few days.

Safari continues to ride Mac OS X adoption to increased usage share and will likely close January with about 8.2% of the global browsing market. Nothing really unexpected there given Mac's recent strong showings.

Opera has been basically flat for as long as anyone can remember (bouncing around for the last four or five years between 1/2 and 3/4 of one percent) and the only question for Opera in January is whether it will stay flat or lose share to the other browsers. I'm predicting a loss, but small enough that it wouldn't require any real generosity to call it flat. The good news for Opera is that with the total browser market growing so quickly, even with their share remaining flat or falling slightly, their absolute number of users is still increasing.

Finally, as has been the case for several months now, I.E. is the big looser. I'm predicting that I.E. will lose about 2/3rds of a point this month and end January at a new low with a market share of 67.5%. I.E. 7 has actually made a very slight gain (0.3 points) from where it was 6 months ago, so all of the loss is coming from I.E. 6 which I think everyone can agree is a good thing, probably even Microsoft. Nevertheless, every month in recent memory has been a negative one for Internet Explorer's total share. I like that trend.

These predictions are based on the frequent updates at Net Applications and they're likely to be off a little bit but I think it's fun to try to guess. I'll post again with the final numbers and some analysis this time next week when the final numbers are out.


It seems that each time these numbers are discussed, the unspoken question is why Opera even bother to continue operation when it fails for the 10th year in a row to gain what you like to call a significant marketshare. The answer is that Opera is a solid company, earning good enough money to continue hiring people even in these times. Specifically about NetApplication's numbers, they continue to ignore many of the very same markets where Opera *has* achieved growth, but everyone knows that I guess. To the point: Opera's main goal is to earn money by providing a standards complaiant on any device. They don't have to compete with Firefox to do that.

Is your ignorance/overlooking of the install-by-itunes-stealth Mac Update scam merely a sign of your pro-Mac bias or are you overlooking it for some other reason?

I think this does a disservice to Firefox's multi-platform credentials. Rather that promoting Safari's so-called 'growth' as genuine, why not highlight the number of Mac users who choose to ignore Safari and use Firefox instead?

In these stats, Safari won't grow just by getting installed. It needs to get used too which is not necessarily the case when it is auto-installed.

Asa did you forget that Opera users have to mask as FF becuase the sites block Opera? That would off set the stats.

plus the use of browser.js

@Mutty, you said "The answer is that Opera is a solid company, earning good enough money to continue hiring people even in these times." which leads me to believe that you didn't actually read this post. If you had, you'd have seen that I concluded the Opera paragraph saying, "The good news for Opera is that with the total browser market growing so quickly, even with their share remaining flat or falling slightly, their absolute number of users is still increasing."

@pd, you're kidding, right? Safari on Windows has been an utter and total failure unable to break even half a percentage point in nearly a year.

@charlie, decent browser tracking programs can easily read the correct browser even when the browser is masking its user agent string. Net Applications is not fooled.

- A

decent browser tracking programs can easily read the correct browser even when the browser is masking its user agent string. Net Applications is not fooled.
Clearly, Net Applications is fooled, since at the same time Google reported 10 million users for Chrome and Opera 30 million users, they managed to report Chrome as having a higher market share than Opera!

@heh, your assertion doesn't create fact.

It could be that Google and Opera are simply reporting different things. Do you know if they're talking about total unique users, active daily users, monthly active users, cumulative (ever used it) users? I sure don't and the don't seem to be in a hurry to share that bit of all important detail. I can construct a dozen scenarios that have only to do with what "users" that would be more likely to account for your suggested discrepancy than Net Applications not being able to identify a browser correctly.

- A


They were both reporting "active users". Not cumulative numbers.

You keep ignoring the fact that Net Applications has been caught editing its stats on numerous occasions, and the fact that they are US-centric and ignoring markets where Opera is supposedly doing well. And of course, Opera's browser JS, UA spoofing, etc. for hundreds of major sites. You are ASSUMING that NA and others are picking up on that. The evidence indicates otherwise.

IE will be replaced by Firefox. It's worrying enough to have a "not-following standards" browser which needs extensions for basic things (see ActiveX) and uses 3 times more memory than IE.

Ah Asa, I wasn't quite clear. I just ment that their main goal is not to gain market share, especially not desktop, but to earn money, which they are doing quite well. They seem to be growing at the rate they can hire competent employees. They choose to spend money on a lot of projects instead of marketing, like their 2 mill community, dragonfly, MAMA, scope, new specifications like widgets, file i/o etc. And it's doing them well.

"Not following standards"? Firefox 3.1 had all those features Opera 10 touts on their website for months before Opera 10 was even released, same with Webkit. Webkit beat Opera with full Acid3 pass(all 3 criterias as mandated by Ian Hixie) MONTHS before Opera 10 and Opera 10 still can't pass Acid3 fully, the last criteria being performance.

So much for the MYTH about Opera standards compliance. Opera troll employees and troll fanboys are biggest liars on this planet. Opera 10 still doesn't even support border-radius(Gecko and Webkit supports this for a long time), what kind of browser calls itself standards compliance and doesn't support border-radius is beyond me.

Lol, two can play this game. We can take some obscure single feature from the whole CSS 3 which still isn't a valid specification, but a draft, and then point that "Firefox [or insert another browser] is not standards compliant". Get a grip.

So because Opera reached 100/100, but not the performance criteria for two of the Acid3 tests, Opera is not standards compliant?


Do the standards mandate any kind of minimum performance, or is OperaisCRAP full of crap? ;)

What about all the SVG stuff Opera supports, but no one else? OMG Safari and Firefox are not standards compliant because Opera's SVG support is better! Your sad excuse will go something like this: "But SVG is not really relevant because [insert lame excuse here]." Sorry dude, SVG is an open web standard, and Opera is ahead of the other browsers there.

But all of this is off-topic, and this discussion is about market share predictions. Please take your trolling and go GB2trollville, OperaisCRAP.

blah: except this one is quite useful, and was actually in Opera at some point from what I read, but was then removed.

heh is your typical Opera troll fanboy that doesn't even read. I was replying to HaRT's trolling comment. Why don't you take your own advice, heh and go back to trollville aka MyOpera blog site. Your kind will welcome and tolerate your trolling fanboy crap there.


It doesn't really matter who you replied to. The bottom line is that you lied to make Opera look bad, and you exposed yourself as a hypocrite by not holding all browsers to the same standard (or are you saying that you expect more from Opera than from the others?).

You trash Opera as not being standards compliant for not passing the performance part of Acid3 and not implementing a couple of CSS things you would like, but at the same time you ignore the fact that Firefox doesn't even reach 100/100 on the Acid3 test, and that Opera has implemented a lot of things missing in other browsers, especially when it comes to SVG. This makes you a liar and a hypocrite, and the only thing you seem to be able to come up with is that, or personal attacks and red herrings.

So it's pretty clear who the "troll fanboy" here is. I have noticed that you have been busted making inflammatory and off-topic comments previously in this blog, and that your hypocrisy never seems to end.

I don't know why you are spending all this time obsessing over Opera. You clearly have personal issues that you need to sort out.

Rick Mardo, stop being an idiotic Opera fanboy and STFU. Firefox 3.1 is at 93/100, thats not too far from 100 and Opera 10 isn't gonna be shipping in a final, non beta form any time soon. Firefox 3.2 has SMIL support coming soon and will have the last 7 points needed for 100/100 criteria, Firefox 3.1 already passes the pixel perfect rendering criteria.

SVG? Opera 10 has worse support than previous 9.6x as seen from codedread's page on SVG support in browsers. So much for the MYTH about Opera standards support.

If Opera was so "good", why does it have so many documented bugs and endless complaints on the Opera Desktop blog about compatability? Again, Opera troll employees & fanboys are busted for being hypocrites and LIARS. Enjoy your worthless browser with crappy engine with less than 1% marketshare after 13-14 years on the market.

There are certainly valid reasons to dislike Opera, but standards support isn't one of them. Even if Opera 10 (still alpha) has SVG regressions, it's still far ahead of Webkit and Gecko when it comes to SVG. That said, IMO, they had much more urgent priorities than working that much on Acid3, but Acid3 = PR, and PR > all.

Anyway, Opera 9.5 was a letdown (clearly rushed to beat Firefox 3 to the punch), but Opera 10 seems more promising to me.


So when Firefox doesn't even reach 100/100 on Acid3, and opera reaches 100/100, but doesn't have reach the performance requirement for two of the tests, that means that Opera has worse standards compliance than Firefox? It is also interesting that you count in favor of Firefox when it "will pass it soon", but discount that there is actually a public version of Opera which reaches 100/100. Talk about picking and choosing only the data which supports your assertions.

As for SVG, Opera 10 is an alpha, which means that it isn't finished yet. I would be willing to bet that it will comfortably beat Opera 9 on SVG support when it's finished.

And what you seem to have forgotten is that Firefox and Safari both have an SVG score down at about 60+% (C). Opera has 90+% (A+) according to that table, which by the way is much better than the random page you dug up to "prove" that Opera has "many documented bugs". Firefox and Safari have many documented bugs (even if they aren't listed on the random page you provided), so I don't really understand what you are trying to say. Well actually, I do understand you. You are obsessing over Opera and trying to spread FUD about it for some reason.

So again it seems to be quite obvious who the "liar", "troll" and "fanboy" is. I would say it's the guy who picks and chooses facts and tries to hide the ones that don't match his obsession. As an example, Opera does better at both SVG and Acid3 than Firefox, and yet Opera apparently has terrible standards support because of some CSS stuff it hasn't implemented yet...

Someone needs to stop obsessing over Opera... And stop ignoring facts that contradicts their claims.

I think Opera, Safari and Firefox all have excellent standards supports, though their strengths lie in different areas. I guess that makes me "an idiotic Opera fanboy" in your world, but I can live with that. Coming from someone like you, that's a compliment.

By the way, I have contributed to the Mozilla project numberous times. Have you? Or are you just a couch supporter who talks a lot but there's no action to back up your big words?

"loser" not "looser"

@OperaisCRAP, "Firefox 3.1 had all those features Opera 10 touts on their website for months before Opera 10 was even released".

Like 100/100 on Acid3? Lol you are a joke :D

@OperaisCRAP, "I was replying to HaRT's trolling comment."

HaRT didn't mention anything about Opera.

clearly YOU are the troll and fanboy and hater here. Spewing nonsense craps out of nowhere.

It is a free world, if you prefer Firefox use Firefox, if you prefer Opera use Opera. Apparently arguing that browser X is "better" than Y does not make any sense when what is "better" does not have a common definition for all browser users. I believe that both Opera and Firefox should be supported by us who are interested in promoting evolution of web technologies. History has shown in several occasions that without competition there is rarely evolution (for example see the evolution of IE after "winning" the "first browser wars" and before starting the so called "second browser wars"). Don not fight against each other, fight against those who prefer not to "waste" effort and money on improving and developing technologies when they do not have to compete with anyone.

I prefer showing to my friends both Firefox and Opera as well as Safari and Chrome and let them chose what THEY prefer most. It is the user who should choose and benefit right?


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