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Excerpts from

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/ie10-beta-microsoft-build-2011-web-browser-browser-wars,13399.html

"Internet Explorer Market share is at about 55 percent if you believe NetApplications (NA), and at about 41 percent if you go with StatCounter (SC). The numbers may be very different, but both sources are painting a picture of rapid market share decline for Microsoft, while Chrome is picking up all that is lost by IE (and Firefox)."

"If we consider current Microsoft software (Windows 7, IE9) and realize that Windows 7 was really just a big effort to correct the (colossal) mistakes of Windows Vista and provide a bridge to a much bigger step forward (Windows 8), you could make the case that IE9 on Windows 7 is much more important for Microsoft than browsers on other operating systems (including Windows Vista and Windows XP). While Firefox and Chrome are picking up many "old" Windows XP users who are left behind by IE (which could be problematic for Microsoft in the long run), Microsoft is effectively modernizing its user base in preparation for the launch of Windows 8."

"In that view, an 8 percent global browser market share for IE9 may not be as important for Microsoft as knowing that IE9 is the most popular HTML5 browser on Windows 7 with a 20.4 percent share, followed by Chrome with 18.3 percent and Firefox 6 with 13.2 percent. While IE9 could generally be seen as a train wreck that has failed to capture overall market share, it has done fairly well on Windows 7 so far and helped rebuild a reputation Microsoft lost some time ago. Most importantly, IE9 is a transitional browser that has created a playground for web developers and software engineers to establish a browser platform for HTML5 applications that are expected to surface in Windows 8."