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Latest browser stats: Chrome, IE9 up, Firefox

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Latest browser stats: Chrome, IE9 up, Firefox suffers enthusiasm gap

Google Chrome is growing fast and shows no sign of slowing. In August 2008, Chrome didn't exist. In the past year, its share of usage at this site has grown by roughly 1% a month and currently stands at just over 19%. That is phenomenal. What's even more phenomenal is that more than half of those visitors were using unofficial beta and overnight releases. There is no question that Google's core constituency likes to live on the bleeding edge. And almost all of them are running Chrome on Windows.

Firefox users are abandoning it in droves. Overall, Firefox usage has dropped precipitously in the past two months. Back in 2007, it looked like a sure thing that Firefox usage would pass that of Internet Explorer within a matter of months. That didn't happen. Firefox usage crossed 40% briefly in August 2008, but it has been under that level ever since. The share of visitors to this site who used Firefox dropped in the past two months to roughly 33%, which is a return to levels I last saw in 2005 and 2006. It's a trend I first spotted back in March, and it hasn't slowed. The alarming statistic for anyone in Mozilla management is the complete lack of enthusiasm for Firefox 4. Only 1.06% of visitors to this site are using the Firefox 4 beta.

Internet Explorer 9 has sparked new interest. Usage of Internet Explorer among visitors to this site has dropped pretty steadily over the past two years. IE share dropped under 50% at this site in March 2009 and has been hovering around the 40% level most of the past six months. Back in mid-September, when Microsoft officially released its beta of Internet Explorer 9, I kept a close eye on what my readers were doing. In the three days after the release, more than 9% of the visitors to this site were using IE9. Much of that was just tire-kicking, of course. But after the initial glow wore off, a lot of those IE9 users stuck around. For the month of October, 3.96% of all visitors to this site were using IE9. That's more than IE6 (hallelujah!) and very close to IE7's usage. Despite the beta label and some compatibility issues, a large number of IE users were willing to stick with it.

Safari and Opera are destined to be niche players. Opera has not been able to gather any momentum, peaking at 2.5% earlier this year and dropping well under 2% for the past two months. Safari's usage has climbed steadily, thanks mostly to the iPad. In fact, if current trends hold, the share of traffic from iPads running Safari will surpass Opera in a matter of a month or two.

What is your prediction?

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