One Browser To Rule Them All

There have been times in past years when it really looked like we our industry was on track to supporting only a single relevant web browser. Clearly that’s not the case today. In a discussion with a co-working today on the importance of “other” browsers, I wanted to put some data on the table so I looked up the browser stats for this web site ( I hadn’t looked for a while and found the distribution truly interesting:

Admittedly, those that visit this site clearly don’t represent the broader population well. Nonetheless, the numbers are super interesting. Firefox eclipsing Internet Explorer and by such a wide margin was surprising to me. You can’t see it in the data above but the IE share continues to decline. Chrome is already up to 17%.

Looking at the share data posted on Wikipedia ( and using the Net Market Share data) we see that IE has declined from over 91.4% to 61.4% in just 5 years. Again a surprisingly rapid change.


Focusing on client operating systems, from the skewed sample that accesses this site, we see several interesting trends: 1) Mac share continues to climb sharply at 16.6%, 2) Linux at 9%, 3) iphone, ipod and ipad in aggregate at over 5 ¼%, and 4) Android already over a ¼%.

Overall we are seeing more browser diversity, more O/S diversity, and unsurprisingly, more mobile devices.


James Hamilton



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4 comments on “One Browser To Rule Them All
  1. Your right Andrew, there is an incredibly large difference between the generally reported browser usage stats and what I’m seeing on this site. The difference is huge with the broadly reported average having IE with shrinking share but still more than 1/2 the users whereas on, Firefox leads by a commanding margin.

    My operating theory is that this is a site that attracts technology focused readers and,as a group, technologists tends to be earlier adopters. I suspect its also a leading indicator but that point is more open to debate. If I’m right that it is a leading indicator, the competition in browsers is going to continue to heat up and the portion of users on mobile solutions is going to sky rocket.


  2. Andrew S says:

    Curious why such a big skew between this site and the background average. Any thoughts why, James?

  3. Totally agree Bradford. 90+% share in one has now spread out to active competition across many.


  4. Bradford says:

    What’s funny is that 5 years ago, I never would have thought we’d have 4-5 good browsers to choose from. There was IE, and Firefox just started.

    Heck, I still have that poster from the NYT ad that Firefox put out with my name on it.

    How odd, indeed.

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