Browser Usage Statistics

by Jakob Nielsen on January 1, 1997

Sidebar to Jakob Nielsen 's column on trends for the Web in 1997 .

 

Distribution of the 68 different browser versions used to access www.useit.com during December 1996. Percentages refer to proportion of total page views (not "hits", but only HTML pages).
Netscape Total: 78.3% Internet Explorer Total: 15.3% Others Total: 6.4%
1.0 Windows 16: 0.2%
1.1 Windows 16: 0.1%
1.1 Mac 68K: 0.1%
1.1 Mac PPC: 0.1%
1.1 Unix: 0.1%
1.12 Mac 68K: 0.1%
1.2 Windows 16: 0.1%
1.22 Windows 16: 0.6%
2.0 Windows 16: 1.5%
2.0 Windows 32: 1.1%
2.0 Mac 68K: 1.2%
2.0 Mac PPC: 0.6%
2.0 Unix: 0.2%
2.01 Windows 16: 1.3%
2.01 Windows 32: 1.2%
2.01 Mac 68K: 0.3%
2.01 Mac PPC: 0.6%
2.01 Unix: 0.9%
2.02 Windows 16: 1.4%
2.02 Windows 32: 2.9%
2.02 Macintosh 68K: 1.4%
2.02 Macintosh PPC: 1.7%
2.02 Unix: 0.5%
2.02 OS/2: 0.6%
3.0b6 Macintosh PPC: 0.1%
3.0b7 Windows 32: 0.1%
3.0 Windows 16: 5.2%
3.0 Windows 32: 19.9%
3.0 Macintosh 68K: 1.8%
3.0 Macintosh PPC: 9.1%
3.0 Unix: 7.7%
3.01 Windows 16: 1.0%
3.01 Windows 32: 6.7%
3.01 Macintosh 68K: 0.7%
3.01 Macintosh PPC: 3.7%
3.01 Unix: 3.2%
4.0b1 Windows 32: 0.3%
2.0 Windows 16: 0.1%
2.0 Windows 32: 0.7%
2.0 Macintosh PPC: 0.1%
2.1 Windows 16: 0.2%
2.1 Macintosh 68K: 0.1%
2.1 Macintosh PPC: 0.1%
3.0b Windows 16: 0.2%
3.0b Windows 32: 0.9%
3.0b Macintosh PPC: 0.1%
3.0 Windows 16: 0.6%
3.0 Windows 32: 5.0%
3.01 Windows 32: 7.1%
AOLbrowser: 3.6%
OmniWeb 2.0.1: 0.3%
OmniWeb 2.1.4: 0.1%
OmniWeb 2.1.5: 0.4%
Lynx 2.3: 0.1%
Lynx 2.4: 0.1%
Lynx 2.5: 0.1%
Lynx 2.6: 0.2%
WebTV: 0.4%
IBM WebExplorer 1.01: 0.4%
Astra 1.0: 0.2%
Autonomy 1.0: 0.1%
HotJava 1.0b: 0.1%
Java 1.0.2: 0.1%
Lotus Notes 4.5: 0.1%
Microsoft FrontPage 2.0: 0.1%
Mosaic 2.0: 0.1%
NetCruiser 2.1.1: 0.1%
Opera 2.1: 0.1%
37 different versions 12 different versions 19 different versions

In this table, no distinction has been made between "Gold" and regular editions of a given version of Netscape because of the assumption that the page-rendering code would be the same. Similarly, no distinction has been made between "international" and "American" editions of a given browser version, even though differences in encryption and localization may impact the user experience. Finally, as a simplification, all the flavors of Unix have been treated as a single system.

Distinctions have been made between browsers running on Macintoshes with the Motorola 680x0 CPU and Macs with a Power PC CPU since the capabilities of the "same" browser on the two platforms are often very different. Similarly, a distinction has been made between the two main types of Windows: the old 16-bit Windows (typically 3.1) and the new Windows 95 and NT. For the sake of simplicity, Windows 95 and Windows NT have been lumped together as Windows 32-bit.

Please note that if distinctions had been made between different flavors of Unix, between Windows 95 and NT, and between different localizations, the total number of different browser versions would have been about twice as big as indicated in the table.

The statistics fluctuate constantly as new browsers become popular. For example, during the last week of December, WebTV accounted for 1.3% of the page views and Netscape 4.0b1 accounted for 0.9% of page views. Neither browser was much used before Christmas. As a further indication of shifting grounds, Internet Explorer accounted for 23% of page views in the last week of December.


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