Feeds

Microsoft witness claims Netscape browser share hardly fell at all

Which means that a lot of earlier published Microsoft market share data must be rubbish...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft witness Richard Schmalensee yesterday made the interesting claim that despite Microsoft's best efforts, Netscape's share of the browser market only lost five percentage points from the beginning of 1996 through to the third quarter of 1998. Practically any survey you'd care to name puts Netscape in a downward spiral from a dominant position down to 40-50 per cent by last summer, but according to Schmalensee, they're wrong. And as a matter of fact, Microsoft must be wrong too. Check out Microsoft's view of the browser market in 1997 (DoJ exhibit 8) and you'll see the company figured it had knocked Netscape down from 60 per cent to 55 per cent in the last six months of the year. Microsoft also stated its actual browser market share at 40 per cent for 1997, and 48 per cent (projected) for 1998 (exhibit 14). The virtual standstill Schmalensee claims would, one might observe, have surely caused severe ructions in Microsoft's high command -- you give the browser away free for nearly three years and you only dent Netscape by five per cent? There's gonna be a hanging... And then there's the small matter of Netscape's browser licensing revenues going through the floor from Q2 1996 onwards (exhibit 10) -- how come this money was going away, if free Microsoft browsers weren't having significant effect? Schmalensee's pitch is somewhat radical, to say the least. He says most independent surveys undercounted AOL subscribers in 1996 and early 1997, as AOL cached the most popular Web sites, so survey systems didn't track the hits. He uses data gleaned from surveys made by Market Decisions Corp and paid for by Microsoft. This says that Netscape's share was near 50 per cent in early 1996, rose to 57 per cent, and then fell back to 45 per cent. But curiously, although Microsoft does publish results from these Market Decisions surveys (as part of a response to earlier DoJ data), a Microsoft press release of January 1997 (source, er, Market Decisions and Zona) claims IE as "the fastest growing Web browser across the board". Market Decisions claimed IE use had grown 260 per cent since March 1996, while Zona found a rise in use from eight per cent to 28 per cent from August-December 1996, while Netscape lost 13 per cent in the same period, down to 70 per cent. Numbers, schmumbers... ® Complete Register trial coverage

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.