The Vanishing Internet Explorer User Base

Internet Explorer (IE) was once the dominant web browser, attaining a staggering 95% market share at its peak in the early 2000s. But over the past decade, IE has seen a dramatic decline in usage.

In this article, we‘ll explore just how few people still rely on IE as we approach its end-of-life in 2024.

IE Usage Dropped 90% Since 2012

To illustrate IE‘s shrinking user base, let‘s look at some usage statistics over the years:

  • In 2012, IE commanded 33% of the browser market, with over 400 million users worldwide.
  • By 2019, IE‘s market share dropped to just 7.6%. The user count fell to under 200 million.
  • In 2022, IE usage sits at a mere 1.2%, with an estimated 28 million remaining users.

That‘s a nearly 90% decline in IE‘s user base in the span of a decade. The era of IE dominance has definitively ended.

Year IE Market Share Approx. User Count
2012 33% Over 400 million
2019 7.6% Under 200 million
2022 1.2% Around 28 million

So what led to this monumental decline? Let‘s analyze a few of the key factors…

Why IE Lost Its User Base

IE‘s downfall can be attributed to several industry shifts:

  • Competition – When Firefox and Chrome arrived, they offered faster browsing and frequent updates. IE languished due to Microsoft‘s slow release schedule.
  • Mobile – IE never caught on for mobile browsing. On phones and tablets, users favored Chrome, Safari and other mobile-first options.
  • Security Issues – High-profile vulnerabilities like the Aurora attack tarnished IE‘s reputation. Rival browsers marketed improved security.
  • Lack of Innovation – IE‘s development stalled as Microsoft shifted focus away from IE exclusively. It didn‘t keep pace with new standards and missed key features.
  • Legacy Support Headaches – Developers faced major challenges supporting outdated IE versions during the rise of modern web apps.

By 2021, IE was clearly fading into obscurity. Microsoft accepted the inevitable and announced IE‘s retirement.

IE 11 Hangs On Among Last Loyal Users

IE 11 remains marginally relevant, accounting for over half of current IE usage. It still works fine for simple browsing needs.

A few loyalists continue using IE out of habit or legacy system requirements. But even they must confront IE‘s looming demise on the February 2023 support cut-off date.

As a consultant who assists many small businesses, I‘ve worked with clients still dependent on IE-only apps and sites. Migrating them to modern browsers has been crucial in keeping their operations running smoothly.

The web has evolved beyond what IE can handle. By planning your browser transition now, you‘ll be prepared to surf tomorrow‘s web using faster and more secure tools.

It‘s time to say goodbye to IE and embrace a new browsing experience.