According to data gathered by StatMarket.com, which is based on actual Web browser usage and Internet user trends, Microsoft's Internet Explorer continues to pull away from its nearest rival, Netscape Communicator. By the beginning of August, Internet Explorer was being used by over 75% of all users on the Web. Netscape's share accounts for about 24%, giving Microsoft a commanding three-to-one lead.
Another interesting trend: By far, the majority of users are browsing with the latest browsers. Internet Explorer 5.x leads the way with 44.73%, while its older 4.x sibling comes in second with 24.86%. Netscape Communicator 4.x was third with 22.03%. All other browsers fell under 4%, with WebTV's 1.44% leading the way for non-Netscape and IE browsers.
"The browser race is all but over," observes WebSideStory's Jeff Johnston. "When we reported that Explorer was beating Netscape in March, the two-to-one numbers were a huge story. This latest development is incredible. \[In March,\] you could make a case for Netscape if you were simply counting installed browsers, in which Explorer has a decided advantage. But the active use numbers are more embarrassing for Netscape."
Part of the problem is that Netscape hasn't released a major new browser product in almost two years. Since setting the tone with "Internet time" in the mid-1990's, the company has fallen behind Microsoft, which has relentlessly updated its Internet products.
The StatMarket results are based data gathered from over 30 million Internet users visiting over 114,000 Web sites between April and August. The statistics represent actual browser usage, not installed base