Tech Strategy Trends

Mar 19 2011   10:38AM GMT

Putting the IE9 Launch Numbers in Perspective

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

Microsoft reports that Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours following its official launch. That is almost 100,000 downloads per hour, or 27 downloads per second. It is impressive–but it is also only a quarter of the 8 million plus downloads of Firefox 3 on the first day it was available.

So, is IE9 only a quarter as successful as Firefox 3? No. Statistics are fun because they paint an entirely different picture when viewed through a different lens. So, let’s put the IE9 stats in perspective and see how it compares.

The Firefox browser is available for Windows…and Mac OS X…and Linux…and FreeBSD. Basically, Firefox is available to run on virtually all PCs in existence.

Contrast that with Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer has always been Windows-centric, meaning it is not available for platforms other than Windows. But, Internet Explorer 9 narrows the field even farther because it is only compatible with WIndows 7 and Windows Vista–not XP. That means that the audience for IE9 is restricted to only about one third of the PCs in the world.

If you try to draw an apples to apples comparison, you can take the 2.35 million IE9 downloads and multiply by 3 to make up for the difference in the number of potential PCs. Extrapolating the statistics–if IE9 had an equivalent audience, we can assume it would have had 7.05 million downloads.

Still quite impressive, but also still lagging behind the success of the Firefox 3 launch. And, odds are fair that the IE9 downloads are almost completely cannibalizing IE8 market share. To be fair, though, let’s give IE9 six months or so and then see how it compares against specific versions of Firefox or Chrome.

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