The past two years have seen two browsers make big changes in market share in both the American and global markets. Internet Explorer has lost about 15 points across all versions and Chrome has gained a little more than 15 points in the American market. Globally, Chrome is doing even better as shown in the second image.
What’s behind these changes and what lies ahead? Let’s take a look at our predictions for 2014.
Internet Explorer and Chrome Continue to Battle
As it stands, the race for browser dominance is a two-horse race. When Chrome makes big gains, Internet Explorer suffers losses. This trend will continue in 2014, especially in the American market.
IE6 and IE7 may hold steady, but web developers will no longer go to the expense and trouble of accommodating the needs of these outdated browsers.
Safari and Firefox Hold Steady
Safari and Firefox have maintained their share of the browser market over the past two years and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue. The numbers graphed above are for the desktop versions of the browsers. Safari gets quite a boost when tablet browsers are added to market share calculations.
Opera Loses More Ground
Opera dropped their HTML rendering engine, Presto, and switched to Webkit, the rendering engine used by Safari and Chrome. Unfortunately, this didn’t improve their useage numbers. That’s a pretty big change to see no impact on market share. We predict Opera will continue to lose ground unless it figures out a better way to stand out from the crowd.
Mobile Web Browsers are History
Our biggest prediction for 2014 is that mobile browsers will be replaced by full versions that operate across all devices. We’ll take it a step further and say that 2014 will be the year that responsive web design will be the norm and developers will continue to create sites based on how their visitors access the web.