Researchers believe Internet Explorer is losing market shares based on the declining popularity of their older browser, IE6. Although IE7 also lost market share, it only lost six-tenths of a percentage point. IE8 will be unveiled soon as Microsoft states that it is “just around the corner.” Microsoft is betting that IE8 will halt the decrease in market share.

Google’s Chrome browser was off to a shaky start early in the fourth quarter of 2008 but has increased its revenue share to 1.04%. This represents a 20% gain from November.

Net Applications cites other reasons for Microsoft IE’s decline. Statistics show that holiday months such as November and December have been traditionally bad years for Internet Explorer as more Internet users use their home computers. Home and off-work computers (such as cyber-cafes) boast a higher percentage of non-Microsoft browsers, while corporate computers favor Internet Explorer. "The December holiday season strongly favored residential over business usage," the company said on its Web site. "This in turn increases the relative usage share of Mac, Firefox, Safari and other products that have relatively high residential usage. All December usage statistics should be read in that context."

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