A look was taken at the last few months of web browser market share data for 2011. Web browser market share is defined as the percentage that each browser has of all of the total traffic viewing web pages. One may plainly see that Chrome is set to surpass Firefox very soon. Firefox and Internet Explorer continue to lose market share to Google’s Chrome. Underneath Google’s Chrome is WebKit, which Wikipedia defines as a “layout engine designed to allow web browsers to render web pages”. Apple’s Safari web browser uses WebKit, which means that all of the iPhones and iPads are using it, and obviously, inside of Android, Google’s cellular and tablet operating system, there is WebKit, too. Looking at graph below from Wikipedia (source StatCounter) the trend for the blue line, the green line, and the purple line shows that WebKit is about the rule the world:
But what will the future bring? What will be the factors that will influence the future of WebKit dominance?
Factors supporting WebKit dominance:
- More smart phones, tablets and hybrid devices being sold running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android
- Internet Explorer users not being able to upgrade past Internet Explorer 8 if running Windows XP or beyond Internet Explorer 9 if running Windows Vista
- Amazon’s new low-cost Kindle Tablet which will include the Android Operating System
- The decline of the “PC” in the home and personal use
- The eventual rise of Ubuntu and the Linux distributions
Factors against WebKit dominance:
- The unveiling of Windows 8 in late 2012, with Internet Explorer pre-installed and satisfied users
- The coming Ultrabook generation, many which will feature Windows 8
- The continued use of the PC by business users tied-down to Internet Explorer-only web applications
- Continued bad-press about the privacy issues associated with Google’s Chrome
- Apple’s penchant for keeping prices high for high quality products
- The persistent failure of the Linux distributions to increase market share
I took artistic liberty and a non-scientific “photoshop” approach and, using Gimp, extended the lines into a fantasy future where WebKit is portrayed as the king of the web-space. Collectively, if the currently trend lines would continue into the future as in the image below, WebKit will own 61% of all web traffic, comprised of 45% (Chrome), 9% (Android, iOS), and 7% (Safari). 2012 will certainly be another exciting year for both web users and web application producers.
- It could be said that all web designers and web application programmers should begin designing and developing interface functionality for WebKit
- , and
- testing in Internet Explorer second, and
- the other way around.
Author: Christopher Pecoraro – firstname.lastname@example.org