What happened to Windows Internet Explorer?

Browser stats

I just took a peek at my server stats for (I’m pretty lazy about following them) and had a huge surprise. I’ve adjusted these to exclude “Unknown”, which I assume are mostly spiders and blog aggregators:

  • MS Internet Explorer: 42%
  • Firefox: 37%
  • Mozilla: 7%
  • NetNewsWire: 6%
  • Opera: 3%
  • Safari: 2%
  • Netscape: 1%

I cut off the list at 1%. MSIE is still in the lead, but it has suffered a huge drop from a few months ago — could it be that my ISP’s version of AWStats doesn’t recognize MSIE 7 and is lumping it with “Unknown”, or is there a chance that the movement to Firefox is becoming a stampede? The last time I remember changes this fast was when MSIE was crushing Netscape in the late 1990s.

Operating system stats

My site is not primarily a Linux or Open-Source software site, and it does not seem to attract a disproportionately high share of non-Windows users. Again, excluding “Unknown”, here is the OS distribution for visitors:

  • MS Windows: 74%
  • Linux: 15%
  • MacOS: 12%

Linux might be a touch high here, but is no SlashDot. Something’s going on — either Firefox is doing to MSIE what MSIE did to Netscape (knocking off a stale browser sitting smugly on its assumed monopoly), or, as I mentioned, it’s just a reporting glitch.

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5 Responses to MSIE MIA?

  1. John Cowan says:

    If a quarter of your visitors are non-Windows, that is a high percentage indeed (about 95% of desktops run Windows, by the best current guesses). It’s hardly surprising that MSIE is low. And I don’t believe it’s IE7 being classified as unknown, or you’d see a big spike in Unknown.

  2. Zack says:

    You’re seeing about three times the normal percentage of Mac users and probably ten times the normal percentage of Linux users. I wish the rest of the web had stats like that, but, alas, no. At work (a large shopping website), Firefox is still down around 10% or so.

  3. David Carver says:

    Dave, I’ve seen similar stats since IE 7 was released, and know many people that were die hard IE 6 users that have made to switch to FireFox after having used IE 7. Our own stats are around 65% IE, 33% Firefox, with over 87% of vistors using a Windows OS.

  4. I’ve checked the FeedBurner stats for my blog for the last 3 days, and those do distinguish IE 6 & 7. My blog is mostly hit by searches from Google, mostly for Linux-related items. My stats are
    Firefox 35%
    IE 6.0: 18%
    Firefox 13%
    IE 7.0: 11%
    Firefox 2.0: 7%
    Mozilla 5.0: 6%
    Other: 11%
    That’s 61% for Firefox+Mozilla, 29% for IE. IE 6 still has almost twice as much usage as IE7 according to my stats. As far as operating systems go, to the nearest 1/2 percent it’s
    Windows XP: 48.5%
    Linux: 41.5%
    Windows 2000: 3.5%
    Mac OS X (PowerPC): 1.5%
    Mac OS X (Intel): 1.5%
    Windows 2003: 1.5%
    Windows Vista: 1%
    Other: 1%
    so it’s Windows 54.5%, Linux 41.5%, Mac 3%.
    Cheers, Tony.

  5. It’s interesting that NetNewsWire (an RSS aggregator) is in there. Perhaps you’re seeing Firefox’s numbers inflated because its built-in aggregator is polling your feed? Just a thought.

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