Microsoft Leads Browser Race

According to statistics compliled by AdKnowledge, market share of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has surpassed that of Netscape Navigator. The data was derived from a daily sample taken in November of nearly 15 million ads served by the company’s system across more than 1,000 of the leading web sites.

The numbers say the Explorer users accounted for 49.5 percent of the browser market, while Navigator users accounted for 45 percent. The Ad Knowledge data also shows that Navigator’s share has steadily declined from 62 percent in January of 1998 to 55 percent in November. In the same time period, Internet Explorer’s share has increased from 36 percent to 49.5 percent.

This is the first time since AdKnowledge began compiling Internet statistics in 1996, that Microsoft has had the lead. The statistics kept at’s Browser Watch offer another view of the Browser War, and show Netscape still holds the lead. A report released by International Data Corp. in September of 1998 showed that Microsoft was gaining on Netscape, but Netscape was still the market leader in the US browser market. According to the IDC report, Netscape dropped nine points in the first half of 1998, while Microsoft added five points.

“It’s clear that Microsoft has overtaken Netscape with respect to browser market share. The relative market share for both companies remains close, however, so ad designers still need to develop ads with both browsers in mind,” said David Zinman, co-founder and director of product management for AdKnowledge. “This is a trend we’ve tracked since January 1997 when Netscape was clearly dominant with nearly 80 percent market share. In just over a one-year period, there has been a dramatic shift to Microsoft.”

AdKnowledge is an independent provider of technology to agencies and marketers, and delivers ad content to nearly all ad-supported web sites.

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