Report Finds Dip in Microsoft's Browser Share

Microsoft lost browser market share over the last year, and the company's Windows Vista operating system has had "slow" market adoption among individuals and enterprises, according to a report issued by management consulting firm Janco Associates Inc.

While Microsoft Internet Explorer still leads the pack in terms of browser use, its market share dipped from 65 percent in August 2007 to 58 percent in August 2008 -- a seven percentage point loss, according to the report.

Janco's 58 percent market share for Internet Explorer is much lower than the share reported in Net Application's Market Share report, which indicated that IE had a 76 percent market share in August of 2008.

The next runner up in the browser wars, according to Janco's report, is the No. 2 Firefox browser. Its market share grew by 3 percentage points year-over-year -- from 16 percent to 19 percent.

People continue to use the Netscape browser, which grew 1.6 percent year-over-year to hit an 11.6 percent market share. The report chided Time Warner for giving up on the browser.

"Time Warner's short-sighted decision to abandon Netscape shows technology decisions are long-term ones and companies that want to create value in that market need to look beyond quarter-to-quarter earnings," stated Janco's CEO, Victor Janulaitis.

He added that the bigger lesson of the report is the "continued erosion of Microsoft's market share," in which the company can't rely anymore on quickly moving users to new products.

The report put the market share for Vista at just under 15 percent in August 2008. In 2007, Vista had a near one percent market share. While the report characterizes that growth as slow, Microsoft execs have typically claimed that the Vista adoption rate has historically outpaced that of Windows XP.

An enterprise survey conducted by Forrester Research found Vista's adoption to be lower than Janco's figure. Forrester's survey found an 8.8 percent adoption of Vista by June 2008.

Janco's press release did not indicate the number of users sampled for the study. However, the company's Web site states that the data for the report are based on "international accesses for business to business Internet users" and about half of the responses came from the United States.

For more info, or to purchase Janco's report, "Browser and OS Market Share White Paper," go here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.