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Who Will Survive the Browser Wars?

Back in the days of screeching dial-up modems, beige desktop towers and lint-catching ball-mice, Internet Explorer had no real competition; fast forward to the twenty-tens and the internet has become a real browser battlefield, with a whole host of advanced, well-funded and robust browsers duking it out for domination of the world’s highest usage shares.

Whilst it is difficult to say with any certainty which browser will be the ultimate ‘victor’ (or indeed, if the competition will ever end) let’s take a look at some of the key heavyweights that look like they could go the distance…

The contenders:

Google Chrome: The Champ

For a browser which has only been around since 2008, the rise of Google Chrome has been nothing short of meteoric…

Whilst there is no single source of 100% accurate statistics for browser usage market share, many analysts agree that Google Chrome currently sits at the top of the pile, with a usage percentage in the region of between 30% and 46% as of 2013;

Some of the secrets to Chrome’s success:

  • Rock-solid stability, thanks to its multi-process architecture and frequent update releases.
  • Blazing fast speed, compared against other browsers in benchmark tests.
  • A user-friendly interface: simple and uncluttered, Google Chrome is a master-class in ‘less is more’.

With the rise of an increasing number of android-powered devices on the market, Chrome has also blazed a trail through the ever-growing mobile internet browser market, whilst capturing a huge percentage of desktop users.

At this stage it is hard to say whether or not Chrome will ever be toppled from pole position: In hindsight, few would have expected this to happen to Internet Explorer just a few short years ago, so this is one champion that will need to stay ahead of the curve if it is to continue its domination.

Microsoft Internet Explorer: The Legend

At the turn of the millennium, IE 5 had managed to secure over 80% of the market: A few short years later and the total usage share reached by Internet Explorer variants as a whole was a whopping 95%;

Since Microsoft reached those dizzying heights however, they may have rested on their laurels a bit: bold new upstarts, like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox soon emerged, running rings around the giant and forcing the boffins from Redmond to play a futile game of catch-up;

These newer browsers offered users better support of new web standards, a faster, slicker browsing experience, a simpler user interface and improved security;

At first, the change was gradual, but in recent years, the growth of other browsers has risen as rapidly as user interest in Microsoft’s venerable product has declined.

As of mid-2013, Internet Explorer took up just over (approximately) 20% of the non-mobile web browser market (according to some sources): This still makes the browser a major player on the digital landscape (in fact, it is still second only to Chrome), but whether or not Microsoft can reverse their browser’s decline with future releases remains to be seen.

Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari: The Dark Horses

Whilst Firefox is easily the victor among these three dark horses, with its estimated 24% market share, these three browsers retain a dedicated user base, with Opera (and Opera mini) capturing a good chunk of the mobile browsing market and Safari remaining the browser of choice for legions of Mac users across the globe.

The Firefox, Opera and Safari development communities have introduced many exciting innovations to web-tech over the years, so these are three candidates to watch closely as the ‘browser wars’ continue to blaze on.

About Graham Lyons

Graham is the SEO and Social Media Marketing Manager at Cozy Digital and the editor of the Cozy Digital Blog as well as contributing content for most of our social outlets like Facebook, Twitter and G+. Graham has been working in, and writing for the SEO / SMM industry since 2001 and is still as dedicated and passionate today as he was when he opened his first Website Design, Ecommerce and SEO company in 2004. You can connect with Graham and Cozy Digital via the social media links below:

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