IE is dying in Europe

Microsoft’s Internet Exploder is dying, thanks mostly to the European Union.

Web tracker StatCounter said that IE, which once ruled the World Wide Wibble has seen its market share drop below 50 percent for the first time. Microsoft only managed 49.87 percent of market share in September.

Many would claim it was due to the popularity of new browsers like Google’s Chrome. There is some truth in this – Mozilla Firefox and Google’s Chrome grew in the global market, posting market shares of 31.5 percent and 11.54 percent, respectively.

However the loss of IE’s supremacy is more likely to be due to Microsoft’s wars with the European Commission.

For ages Redmond battled against the EC and eventually lost completely. In the end it came to an agreement with European Commission competition authorities to offer Microsoft Windows users in the EU a choice and menu of browsers.

Since then IE’s share in the European market dipped to as low as 40.26 percent. Redmond was also not helped by the fact that earlier this year the EU advised businesses to dump IE due to security problems. Many shifted to Firefox and never went back.

IE has only suffered marginally in the US, where the government lobbying system prevented too much damage being done to Microsoft. The US was not as hard on Microsoft’s anti-trust activities, thanks to the Bush administration giving up on punishing Redmond.

Microsoft has done better in other parts of the world. It is the overwhelming leader in Korea, capturing 94.14 percent of the market. However this has not been enough to off-set the fall in demand in the EU.