In a potentially game-changing move, Microsoft has not created a release of Internet Explorer 9.0 for Windows XP. According to Ryan Gavin
, senior director of IE business and marketing, Microsoft is focused on Windows 7, taking advantage of the rich graphics capabilities of the OS and the underlying hardware, while at the same time allowing web sites to integrate alongside other native applications in the Windows 7 experience. This focus has enabled Microsoft to achieve huge performance gains
with IE 9.
So what are the usage share ramifications for this decision? Microsoft seems willing to sacrifice usage share in the short term in order to leapfrog the competition in the long run by applying all their resources to modern versions of Windows. Although Windows XP currently has 54% of global usage share
, Windows 7 usage share is following a strong, fairly linear path upwards
and Windows versions from Vista forward should have a majority share within a couple years.
The new browser battle for Microsoft is Internet Explorer 9.0 on Windows 7. On this, Internet Explorer 9.0 reached 3.6% usage share in March
In March, there were three major browser releases; Firefox 4.0, Internet Explorer 9.0 and Chrome 10.0. Each has used a different method of upgrading their users, leading to varying impacts on usage share gains.Internet Explorer
: Older versions do not have an option for upgrading. Users must download the update from Microsoft's website. Microsoft plans to put the upgrade in Windows Update next month.Firefox
: The browser has a 'Check for Updates' menu item and an update screen.Chrome
: The browser updates itself, without prompting the user.
These differences make direct comparisons of usage share on new versions irrelevant, especially since Chrome 10's share is simply a measure of how many users have launched the browser.
Because of this, we will no longer be writing articles on the usage share of individual Chrome versions.
Meanwhile, Internet Explorer 6 continues its decline in share and now accounts for 11.58% of worldwide share across all operating systems (including custom editions).
Microsoft really wants people to stop using Internet Explorer 6.0. They even made a site about it