Windows 8 has finally overtaken Windows Vista to become the third most widely used operating system in a month that saw Internet Explorer 10's rapid growth slow down, and the gap between Firefox and Chrome close sharply.
Firefox was down 0.86 points to 18.29 percent, with Chrome up 0.59 points at 17.76 percent, bringing the two browsers within spitting distance of each other. Internet Explorer gained too, up 0.46 points to 56.61 percent. The prospect of Chrome overtaking Firefox to take the number two spot is once again with us. The two browsers last looked as though they would trade positions a year ago, before Chrome lost ground and Firefox reasserted its dominance.
Safari and Android browser maintain their dominant positions. The Chrome browser on Android is continuing to show strong growth, picking up 0.69 points last month. Internet Explorer, however, suffered significant losses, dropping 0.49 points and wiping out the gains made in May and June.
The version breakdowns for Chrome and Firefox continue the familiar trend of rapid releases and quick adoption. Internet Explorer 10 showed slower growth this month for the first time since its release. In each of the last three months, it gained more than three points of market share as Microsoft deployed the browser via Windows Update as an automatic update, the first time a new Internet Explorer version was delivered automatically from day one. The result was relatively swift adoption of the new browser. However, in July, this growth has slowed down, with Internet Explorer 10 adding only 1.81 points of share. Correspondingly, Internet Explorer 9 saw its smallest drop of the last few months, falling just 2.03 points.
Finally, we knew that it was likely to happen in July, and it did: Windows 8 overtook Windows Vista. The new operating system is still far behind Windows 7 and Windows XP in terms of take up, though it might soon start to challenge the size of the entire OS X install base.