It seems like February may have been a very good month for Microsoft and its Internet Explorer team in particular. According to the latest statistics released by Netmarketshare, Microsoft's web browser gained more than 0.5% in market share, all at Firefox's expense. Does this mean that Microsoft has finally gotten things right with Internet Explorer?
It seems like the numbers for browser market share are filly out for public viewing, and that is always good news for most browser fans and pundits. After all, there is no better proof than a bunch of statistics to justify one's claim of 'which browser is the next thing to look out for', especially when the browser market is chock full of competitors today from the likes of heavyweight software vendors such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla.
So, the question most of you will probably be having right now will probably go along the lines of 'How much market share did Microsoft lose in February' or 'How much did Firefox/Chrome/Safari gain'. However, it would seem that the numbers for February seem to buck the trend we have all been accustomed to: instead of continuing to lose market share like it had always been, Internet Explorer actually saw a gain of 0.77% in browser share for the month of February. On the other hand, Firefox was the unexpected casualty time, dropping 0.99% from its January results, as shown in the charts below.
However, fans of Microsoft and Internet Explorer might want to hold their horses instead of celebrating their newfound gain in browser market share. This is due to the fact that the analyst firm responsible for churning out the results have claimed in an announcement that the spike in IE's share was the cause of switching to a new counting algorithm released by the C.I.A.
Unfortunately, the lack of further details from Netmarketshare means that it is not possible to determine whether Internet Explorer's sudden spike in popularity is truly caused by more users moving back to Internet Explorer (especially when IE9's Release Candidate was only released recently), or whether it is merely the result of a simple adjustment to the way browser market share is calculated.
Still, it does not change the fact that the numbers reflect positively on Microsoft and Internet Explorer for the month of February. After all, a gain is still a gain, and with Microsoft having demonstrated that it can produce a standards-compliant browser with IE9, it may not be that surprising to find out if the Redmond giant is really starting to win more Internet users back to its fold.