Ah extrapolation by mean difference. My favourite part is the assumption that growth will continue to accelerate as market share increases, when firstly, that doesn’t make any sense, and secondly, we have data from Firefox’s growth showing that the opposite happens.
This article seems to forget that 1. IE is getting better, as much as we all hate to admit it, 2. IE is still the default browser of the world’s most popular operating system, 3. People are lazy and, as IE keeps getting better/faster, are going to be even more happy to just settle and get on with browsing the web – not argue over which browser is better.
There’s problems with all three of your statements:
1. IE on XP isn’t getting any better, it’s stuck at IE8. I’m sure people in Redmond are as desperate for people to upgrade from XP as we all were for people to upgrade from IE6, but as we’ve experienced, wishing and hoping aren’t enough. Last I heard XP was 60% of Firefox base, and if you assume they are older machines, it makes sense that they also have an incentive to use the fastest browsers to wring the most out of their machines. If all they do is browse then it makes much better financial sense, and the alternative browser probably clears up a bunch of security problems too.
2. IE isn’t the default browser in Europe, which is a market that’s bigger that the U.S. New users get prompted to choose from a short list, which includes Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera. In many other countries IE isn’t as dominant due to language or cultural issues. In the UK and US which are traditionally strong for IE, Safari on Mac is also strong which makes up for weaker showings by Firefox and Chrome and that’s a growing and influential market that Microsoft has conceded entirely. Only China and South Korea are really IE strongholds and South Korea now has something like 15% Android thanks to an explosion of mobile browsing and being the home country of Samsung and LG (mobile being another growing and influential market that Microsoft seems totally out of the running for).
3. If people really are that lazy then a) it prevents them upgrading XP, b) it prevents them switching back to IE if previously switched to (the auto-updating) Chrome and Firefox, and similarly switching from Android and iPhone in mobile..
I am looking at Google Analytics of a site popular with US teens that has >12M monthly uniques: