IE Users Seem to be Returning to the Familiar

By  |  Monday, March 23, 2009 at 11:28 am

Internet Explorer LogoWith the launch of IE8 on Thursday, a fairly decent chunk of the Web surfing populace at least tried out Microsoft’s latest and greatest. However, it appears many have made the decision to downgrade to IE7. While IE8 reached a high of 2.6% over the weekend, it has since fallen nearly a half a percentage point, says Net Applications.

This drop could be explained by curious surfers opting to return to the previous version. It would not be entirely out of the question — IE8’s new features may be a bit too much for some to take the time to get used to, and some users have reported issues in rendering certain websites properly, even those created with Microsoft’s own Publisher tool.

As a whole, IE has been struggling in the face of increased competition from Mozilla’s Firefox. It’s share of the market has fallen to about 67%, down 8 points in the past year alone and well off its highs of nearly 90% in the early part of this decade.

In other words, IE8 needs to be a hit. I don’t think anybody — including myself — expected Firefox to have much more than a 15 or 20 percent market share. Well, it passed the 20 percent mark four months ago and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

Add Apple’s increasing popularity, and the iPhone with it, and who would have expected Safari to have an 8 percent market share either?


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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Matt Sharpe Says:

    I usually consider myself to be fairly understanding, but I cannot fathom why that many people would choose to downgrade back to IE7.

  2. Tom B Says:

    I actually had to downgrade Firefox once– went from FF 1.0.x to 2.0.x on an Intel MacBook shortly after they came out. It was HORRIBLE– slower than molasses. I HAD to upgrade 1.0.x to 3.0.x recently and I’m overjoyed– it’s a whole new world: VERY fast; VERY stable; MANY smart new features.

    Maybe IE 8 is a POS, even by MSFT standards. The reviews have been largely positive, but I think most computer writers get a little extra love from Redmond if they write favorable reviews… so who knows?

  3. Harry McCracken Says:

    For what it’s worth, visits to Technologizer via IE 8 showed an uptick at the end of last week, then dipped a bit. But this site is too small and atypical (Firefox is easily the most-used browser here) for that to tell us anything about the Web at large.

    Seems to me that it’s a bit early to come to any conclusions about IE 8’s long-term prospects. It’s only a few days old, Microsoft hasn’t yet made a full-court press effort to convince people to use it, and many folks who will eventually upgrade are sensibly biding their time just in case early adopters discover any serious problems. I will, however, be interested to see where it stands in ninety days or so…


  4. Marc Says:

    IE8 is very very slow on older PCs. People are probably going back to IE7 for the speed gain if nothing else. Oddly on newer PCs (Dual Core) IE8 seems to be faster. Maybe it’s to do with the way multiple processes for each tab are spread across CPUs.

  5. Mike Says:


    I gave IE8 a try. It seemed better at first however over the weekend it seemed to start getting slow. Today it was almost unbearable and also froze up several times (even on Microsoft’s sites). Tonight I went back to IE7. Perhaps it is like Marc said; I am using an older computer. I like using Google Chrome but don’t know how to backup my bookmarks so I’ve stayed with IE. I also like using the Print Preview feature in IE so that also keeps me using it for now.

  6. IcyFog Says:

    I only use IE at work because I’m required to do so. Still our organization hasn’t upgraded to IE8. Heck we just got IE7 a few months ago. As with all Microsoft products, I’m not a fan. There are better browsers out there. In fact nearly all are in my opinion.

  7. Steven Fisher Says:

    I never really believe these studies. People who download a new browser are going to do a big chunk of surfing with it, then settle down to their usual. Sure, some have downgraded, but that many? I don’t buy it.

    Trends matter, weekends don’t.

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