Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage

Even by the most generous estimates, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is used by barely 50% of Internet users worldwide, meaning that we are approaching or even past the point where most people aren’t using the browser. It’s been a shocking decline from the mid-1990s when as many as 95% of people were on IE. But the big story now isn’t Microsoft’s losses, but rather that it’s Google picking up much of the slack.

It’s important to note that the methods used to create browser market share figures vary from source to source. Most involve using website traffic logs which record the browser used by each visitor to a site. Some of the leading market share figure reports come from web analysis companies who get data from hundreds of thousands of clients, making a reasonably representative sample of the entire web, but this can vary. Still, even while the figures vary (and most sources already have Microsoft below 50%), the pattern is consistent.

For the second half of last decade, it looked as if the company’s main challenge would come from Mozilla’s Firefox browser, but Firefox’s market share has largely flatlined for the past couple of years. Instead it’s Google’s Chrome that is on the ascendance, with its market share almost trebling in three years and the browser taking the number two spot in some measures.

Why the trend? Well, in Microsoft’s case the fact that it’s the default option has finally come back to bite it. Simply put, while more and more people are experimenting with alternative browsers, few people switch to Internet Explorer. Meanwhile Microsoft’s in-built advantage of being the default option on most computers (which was the subject of a European Commission investigation that’s led to users being actively offered a choice of browser while installing Windows) is becoming less significant as more and more people use smartphones and tablet devices.

As for Chrome picking up the slack, that’s largely because of two main advantages from a “sandbox” system that means each open tab is treated as if it were a separate application. That means that if there’s a problem with one tab, the others continue to work without slowdowns or crashes; meanwhile any infected webpages are ring-fenced so that they can’t damage the rest of the computer.

Perhaps even more amazingly, there are even predictions Chrome will take the number one slot by June 2012. That’s based on the simple logic of taking the growth or decline of each browser across the first half of 2011 and working on the basis that market shares will continue to grow at the same rate.

Whether that’s really going to happen on such a timescale is a little more debatable. Many of the people who’ve switched to Chrome are “early adopters” who are more prepared to try out new things, while those remaining on Internet Explorer may be much more wary of changing. That’s likely to mean Chrome’s growth rate inevitable slows down.

That said, the pattern is clearly there and not only does it seem conceivable Internet Explorer will one day lose its crowd, but Chrome seems by far the most likely successor to the top spot.

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How to import Bookmarks and Settings from Firefox or IE to Chrome

If you are an Internet Explorer or Firefox user willing to switch over to Google Chrome, you must bring your Bookmarks, History and saved Passwords first. Thankfully, Chrome has a great feature which makes it really easy to important your IE or Firefox Favorites (Bookmarks, History and so on). Lets see how we do this.

First of all, close your browser (IE/Firefox) if is currently running and then open Google Chrome. Next, Click on the Chrome Settings icon and when the drop-down menu appears, select Bookmarks and then Import Bookmarks and Settings.

After that, the Import Bookmarks and Settings dialog should now be displayed. First, select from each browser you would like to import your Favorites and then select which items to import. When done, just hit the Import button.

Once done, your IE/Firefox Favorites should be added to the Bookmarks section of Chrome. To view your Bookmarks, you must first click on the Other bookmarks button, located on right hand side of Chrome’s Bookmarks Bar. If you can’t see at all Chrome’s Bookmarks Bar, just press Ctrl+Shift+B (at once) on your keyboard and the Bar will appear.

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Optimize your Internet connection with Auslogics Internet Optimizer

Let’s face it, most of the applications nowadays don’t do what there are meant to do. There are hundreds of so-called Internet accelerators which are unable to offer any improvements regarding this issue. But Auslogics proves the opposite in releasing a free module included in their latest BootSpeed 5 Suite which really shows the difference in your Internet connection while using it.

Auslogics Internet Optimizer is more of an analyzer that scans your computer and shows what you should change instead of giving a false solution through a ‘speed-up’ button that doesn’t do anything. Besides the MTU and RWIN check, the application knows how to interpret and improve several TCP/IP settings, Winsock options, DNS Cache settings and related IE, Firefox and Opera options. In case you want to proceed to a much more hard-core approach, you can manually browse all these suggestions and apply whatever option you want.

Working with so many variables, there are chances that you can actually get a much slower Internet connection. The good news here is that Auslogics included a Rescue Center which can back-up any of your computer’s former state and restore it whenever you want. So don’t be afraid to try out all its options and scenarios.

Auslogics Internet Optimizer is the one that can truly make a difference in your Internet connection or at least it can provide you with enough information to choose the right solution for your low speed connection.

download Auslogics Internet Optimizer

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Ghostery tracks the trackers

It’s hard not to believe that major web-sites don’t record somehow your online behavior. Tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons are just a few methods used by online companies to get additional info from each new visitor. But Evidon, a team o developers, released an add-on browser that can give you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.

Over 200 online behavioral companies have an official profile that is saved in Ghostery’s database that will help you learn more about their technology, their business, and their privacy policies. In this way you can learn additional info about the companies trading your online behavioral data. The more info you get, the better you can make decisions about how to control your exposure to those companies.

Ghostery allows zero-tolerance blocking of anything ad related, complete (visible) open communication with ad companies, or countless measures in between – determined by you, the informed web user.

Ghostery is available for all major browsers including IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari. When you decide to download it, you just have to use the right browser and choose the corespondent version.

download Ghostery

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