Reports Cites Google Surpassing Microsoft in Browser Market Share
Over the past several years, reports on browser market share have varied widely, and the press has regularly called into question whether, say, StatCounter's or NetApplications' numbers are most reliable. While not everyone looks to the Adobe Digital Index (ADI) for the final word on browser share, it actually provides a fairly reliable snapshot of the browsers the multitudes of people are using. And, for the month of May, the ADI captured a remarkable statistic: Google Google has surpassed Microsoft as the leading browser maker in the U.S. for the first time.
According to the Adobe report, as summarized on CMO.com:
"Google now commands a 31.8% market share—desktop and mobile, combined—which is up 6% year-over-year (YoY). IE sits at 30.9%, down by 6% YoY, while Apple’s Safari, thanks to its vast mobile presence, is the third most popular browser, with a 25% share."
“Control of the browser gives Google an even greater role in consumers’ lives,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at ADI. “Not only do the Chrome and Android browsers both default to Google search, but with their Gmail and Google+ extensions, consumers are spending more and more time signed into Google’s ecosystem.”
Indeed, getting users to sign into Google's "ecosystem" is a big part of why the company is in the browser game in the first place.
Notably, Adobe's report shows Mozilla's Firefox browser—which seemed to be holding steady share—declined from nearly 20% market share two years ago to only 8.7% in April. According to ADI, the decline is probably due to its lack of mobile presence.
ADI technology analyst Tyler White speculated that two underlying market forces are boosting Google's numbers. “First, device defaults matter,” White said. “Internet Explorer leverages its Windows OS dominance to gain share as the default Web browser for the majority of people online. Today mobile OS is more important, giving Google and Apple a leg up with default status on Android and iOS.”
ADI’s report is based on Adobe Analytics-based detection of the browsers for 17 billion visits to 10,000 U.S. consumer-facing Web sites.