When it comes to web browsers, everyone has their favourite. Back in the day, practically everybody accessed the web via Internet Explorer. Nowadays, there is a whole host to choose from. Web browser popularity has shifted over the years from one popular choice to another and for the once-dominant IE, the rapid development of Chrome meant it was soon seen as a 'relic'.
There is always greener grass and users want to be there. Sadly those old browsers have to die at some point, and they are all sent to the same graveyard as Netscape Navigator.
In this blog, we take a look at the state of play in the current web browser market and touch upon some of the browser trends we expect to see in 2020.
Google Chrome is the dominant force
Numbers don't lie, and as the chart below shows, Google Chrome is currently the 'Usain Bolt' of browsers. Data from Stat Counter shows how that at the end of 2019, Chrome was the most popular choice with over 60% of the market share. Whilst that number is impressive on its own, it is even more staggering when you consider that Internet Explorer had just under 60% of the market as recently as 2008!
In order to turn the tide, Microsoft has turned their attention to the development of 'Edge' and have stopped support for all but the latest Internet Explorer version. However, as the chart above shows, climbing back to the top of the browser pile is certainly not an easy task.
If you can't beat them, join them
Trying to make inroads into Google's huge market share may seem impossible, but with the release of a new and improved 'Edge' in January 2020, Microsoft thinks they have the tool to do so.
Microsoft's latest Edge browser has been given a huge shakeup in the last year or so, with this new version being rebuilt on the same Chromium source code that Google Chrome is based on. Rebuilding on Chromium has helped open the browser to more platforms. As of now, Edge is available for macOS and all current versions of Windows.
It seems Microsoft has released a product that will be more appealing than its predecessor. However, only time will tell if enough developers and users will be encouraged enough to make a dent into Google's seemingly unassailable lead.
What browsers do Gecko support?
In the office, Chrome is still our go-to browser as we find the tools available for development are best, plus they usually have the new and shiny features first (us Developers can't resist a shiny new feature). We do use other browsers for testing and have access to any browser you would like us to use.
From a Microsoft perspective, our development focus is building websites that are suitable for their modern browsers like IE11 and Edge. Whilst it is not standard, we can still build sites that are required to work on IE9. It may not always have all of the nice design elements such as rounded corners on buttons, but it won’t look broken or hinder the user from using the site.
Give us a shout if you need a hand with your site. We are always happy to help!
- Pete, @wearegecko!