Two reports this week point to Netscape?s continuing dominance of the Internet browser market. Microsoft?s Internet Explorer, despite a huge marketing effort, still lies well behind in second place, with little change expected in the coming year.
The US Graphic, Visualisation and Usability Centre (GVU) surveyed 15,000 people between October and November, finding that 80 per cent of users expect to be browsing with Netscape this time next year. Only 12 per cent of respondents expressed a preference for the Microsoft product. There were very few intentions to change browser.
Communications Industry Researchers (CIR), in a survey entitled 'The future of the Web: the content, software and applications driving the growth of the Internet', backs up the GVU result. CIR estimates Netscape?s market share to be around 80 per cent, compared to Microsoft?s meagre seven per cent.
?It is not that we expect Microsoft to fail in its marketing efforts. It?s that our reading of informal usage surveys and other sources suggests that Netscape has a huge lead in the area, which will be difficult for Microsoft to take away,? said Lawrence Gassman, president of CIR. ?While Microsoft browsers are installed on numerous machines as a result of their inclusion in Windows 95 and NT, it is apparently Netscape browsers that are actually being used.?
The sixth GVU survey found that the stereotypical Internet user was a 35 year old, English speaking male who used the Internet most days. He used the Internet find reference information via search engines rather than links to pages, and was unwilling to pay for fees for information. His major concern was giving out personal information over the Net.
Only 20 per cent of Internet users make purchases over the Web. These purchases tended to be of computer hardware and software.
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