IE market share

Microsoft announced it is going to automatically upgrade IE starting in January. In order to track their progress (or lack of it) we have to establish a baseline.

So here are the market shares of the various IE versions according to StatCounter in nine countries, as well as the global score. These numbers are from November, so well before the automatic upgrade.

Brazil and Australia are the first countries where the updates will be automated, so their stats should show the changes first. I also wanted to track my own Netherlands as well as China, where 36% of the market is on IE6(!). The other five countries were chosen more-or-less randomly.

November 2011 market share of IE versions of entire desktop market
Country IE6 IE7 IE8 IE9 Total
China 36% 4% 37% 6% 83%
Korea 9% 14% 47% 11% 81%
Netherlands 1% 4% 27% 20% 52%
US 1% 5% 31% 14% 51%
UK 1% 5% 23% 15% 44%
Australia 1% 4% 23% 13% 41%
Brazil 1% 3% 24% 7% 35%
Germany 1% 2% 13% 9% 25%
Russia 1% 2% 10% 5% 19%
Global 2% 4% 24% 10% 40%

Note the huge differences between the countries. In China 83% of desktop surfers is on IE, in Russia only 19%.

Still, in all markets except for China and South Korea, IE6 is firmly at 1%. IE7 is somewhat larger, but not much. More hits come from mobile phones than from IE6 and 7 combined.

Chances are IE6 and IE7 will be dead and gone next summer. Good riddance. But part of the deal is that we web developers stop caring about them. Do you?

Are you still testing your sites in IE6 and IE7? I’d say you shouldn’t, but I don’t know your cirucmstances. Do you charge your clients more if they want IE6/7 compatibility? You definitely should, whatever the circumstances.

I wonder if I’ll just delete the IE6 column from my tables after receiving confirmation that IE6 is dropping into oblivion.

I asked you some questions, so I suppose I should allow comments on this entry.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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Comments are closed.

1 Posted by Alex Russell on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

Hey PPK,

Can you please add (approx) absolute #'s for each of these markets? I.e., how many millions do you approximate each of these % measures to be out of?


2 Posted by ppk on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

Unfortunately I have no idea. StatCounter does not give absolute numbers, period.

3 Posted by Ernst de Haan on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

We need to support IE6, because a big part of our customer base still use it. We (Deli XL) have a B2B e-commerce site, in the food service domain. It's a different ball game from B2C.

We are investigating the use of Chrome Frame though, but we found some issues on Windows 2003 Server in combination with Citrix and we are not sure to which extent that would bite our customers.

4 Posted by Johannes on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

It's nice, that Microsoft is going to do this, but probably they won't update pirate copies of Windows XP, so i think that the market share in china will not drop as much as we hope :(

5 Posted by Vokiel on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

For IE6 there is a IE6 CountDown site (powerd by MS):
In 6 countries IE6 has less than 1% of market, which I think is encouraging.

6 Posted by Henri Sivonen on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

"Chances are IE6 and IE7 will be dead and gone next summer."

Unlikely, unfortunately.

According to the Microsoft announcements, the IE8 reissue for XP is SP3 only. So all pirated copies of XP stuck at an earlier service pack level in China won't get the update.

And, according to Microsoft, the IE8 blocker still takes effect and the silent update will issued only to Windows Update--not through enterprise update management tools. Thus, enterprise users who are being held back by their IT depts will be unaffected.

But, most interestingly, MS says users who have already declined won't get the update silently. What proportion of the Windows Update-using XP population hasn't already been offered IE8? That is, who on XP is eligible for the silent update and hasn't already been offered a non-silent IE8 update? If they accepted, the new update is moot. If they declined, it seems they won't get the reissued update, either.

7 Posted by AlastairC on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I predict it will make very little difference in the UK, probably other western countries as well.

The announcement said that organisations could opt-out, which means all those people stuck on IE6/7 in large companies or Government departments are still going to be stuck.

Still, it's a good policy to put in place for future, it means internal IT teams have to start with an assumption that browsers update.

8 Posted by ppk on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

@Johannes: MS will try to update pirated copies, too.
@Vokiel: Thanks for the link. I remembered this site and wanted to mention it, but had forgotten the name.

@Henri and @Alastair: this is exactly the reason why I think we as web developers have to take a stand and forget about IE6 and IE7 compatibility. If the Web doesn't work you'll have to upgrade.

9 Posted by Devon on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I've discovered that about 99% of the hits to my sites from IE6 or IE7, are spambots & harvesters masquerading as legitimate users. So I actually block those browsers in my htaccess. been doin' that for about a year.

So I'm wondering, do you know if the stats in this chart reflect ALL of IE6 & 7 users (humans & bots) or is it showing only the percentage of human surfers?

10 Posted by Joel on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I manage a couple of B2C websites here in the UK. While IE6 use was running around 5%, it would have been difficult to drop support for it (most people who own a bricks-and-mortar shop wouldn't dream of kicking out 1 in 20 of their customers).

However, in the last 6-12 months, we've seen the % of IE6 users drop rapidly - it's now below 1%, roughly in line with your stats - and we've taken the decision that it's no longer economically viable to support it.

It all depends on the business figures though - for a company with a turnover of a billion, the extra business from catering for that 1% of users would prob be enough to pay for a whole extra team of front-end coders to sit there and tear their hair out over negative margins and disappearing floats...

11 Posted by Ben Boyle on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I work for a state government in Australia and IE6 accounted for a little over 21% of the total IE traffic last report :/

1% I wish!

I feel sorry for the workers who only have IE6 available on their work PCs.

And I worry that once corporate IT groups get past IE6, we will be stuck on IE8 until we upgrade from XP.

If Microsoft are serious about closing this down, they need to build IE6 mode (emulation) into IE10, and make it available on XP.

12 Posted by Alex on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I'm very proud of my country that has minimal IE usage. =)
Now that value is even less. For Russia, the most global statistic counter system is .
All data is here (english language). There is also absolute numbers.;id=50;id=55;id=54;id=checked;period=month;lang=en
Explorer 8 - 9% - 6,472,350
Explorer 9 - 4.2% - 3,050,860
Explorer 7 - 3.5% - 2,539,848
Explorer 6 - 1.3% - 898,759
summ is - 18% - 12,961,820
total - 71,811,082
Hope that helps you.

13 Posted by Stefan van Zanden on 19 December 2011 | Permalink

I work for a company that builds a large webapplication for real estate professionals in the Netherlands, our policy (started by me) is to not support IE6 and IE7, we even block them with a nice message that they have to upgrade there browser to the latest IE version available or to change to Chrome / Firefox or Safari before they can continue to work with the product.

Just a couple of days before Microsoft announced there new update policy I was working on providing a message for IE8 users on Windows Vista / 7 to upgrade there browser to a much faster / nicer looking IE9 so we can also drop IE8 support in the future.

I am interested to see what our customers browser share will do with the new policy from Microsoft, our current IE8 share is 46.12% from which only 6.92% runs on Windows XP, the rest is on Vista or 7, so there is alot to gain.

For normal websites I don't bother with IE6, just dumping an message and telling customers they have to pay extra if they wan't to have better IE6 support, but with less then 1% share in the Netherlands they don't bother :).