Microsoft Internet Explorer Breaks 40 Percent Use Among Web Surfers Within Six Weeks of the Release of Internet Explorer 4.0

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 17, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that in just six weeks since the release of Internet Explorer 4.0, more than 40 percent of Web surfers in the United States use its browsing software, according to a survey by Roper Starch Worldwide Inc. Dataquest also released a market analysis report today that shows that approximately 40 percent of people who access the Internet use Microsoft® Internet Explorer. In addition, research by Media Metrix, The PC Meter Company, indicates that Internet Explorer is now the most widely used browsing software used to access the Web by PCs in the home.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous customer demand that Internet Explorer has received over the past year,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing in the applications and Internet client group at Microsoft. “Our latest version, Internet Explorer 4.0, has swept the industry reviews and met with very high customer satisfaction. With continued, unprecedented demand from both home and business users, Internet Explorer is well on its way to becoming the most widely used browsing software.”

Independent Surveys Confirm Internet Explorer’s Popularity Growing Rapidly

Roper Starch Worldwide performs rigorous and statistically projectable calls to random samples of U.S. households. The methodology for the browser study involved screening all U.S. households for Internet use during the past two weeks. The Roper survey, conducted in October 1997, polled users about where they access the Internet most frequently (at home, business, school, etc.) and which browsing software they use at their primary access location. Roper’s latest survey places Internet Explorer share of use at 42 percent and Netscape Navigator share at 52 percent. The growth in Internet Explorer use is based, in part, on the strength of its integration with America Online.

“Since we integrated Internet Explorer browsing software into the AOL client software last year, over 85 percent of AOL members are currently using Internet Explorer 3.0; we will be rolling out Internet Explorer 4.0 early in 1998,” said David Gang, senior vice president for new products and enterprise, AOL Networks.

Market research firm Dataquest also released a Dataquest Perspective today showing that Internet Explorer share of use has continued to grow over the past year. According to its November 1997 survey, Internet Explorer share of use has increased to 39.4 percent, nearly doubling from of 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996. Netscape Navigator share, by contrast, has continued to decline, dropping below 60 percent for the first time. Navigator currently holds 57.6 percent share of use. Dataquest predicts that Internet Explorer will reach parity with Netscape Navigator as early as the second quarter of 1998.

In addition to the Roper study and the Dataquest Perspective, Media Metrix September tracking shows that Internet Explorer and Internet-based clients such as AOL collectively account for the majority of all browser software used in homes with Windows® operating system-based personal computers. According to the research, Internet Explorer and AOL are the primary browsers used in 50 percent of households. “Primary browser” is the most relevant metric for share and is defined as the browsing software most frequently used by an individual. Since many individuals use multiple browsers, the one they use most often is the primary browser.

Top Web Sites Report Internet Explorer Use Over 40 Percent

Popular sites such as,,,,,,, and are now reporting that Internet Explorer accounts for, on average, over 40 percent of their site traffic. Some sites are reporting Internet Explorer share of use at 50 percent and higher.

Internet Explorer Has Over 50 Percent Share of Use and Is Most Popular Browsing

Software in 19 Countries

Customer demand for and use of Internet Explorer has traditionally been strong overseas where it offers superior functionality and language offerings. Microsoft delivers leading support for international customers, shipping 24 localized language versions (including English) of Microsoft Internet Explorer – more than any other Web browser. Internet Explorer is now the most popular browsing software in 19 countries -Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Kingdom – according to Internet service providers and Web traffic on top sites. Over 100 of the top Internet service providers in 20 countries now provide Internet Explorer and Outlook
Express to their customers, representing over 6.5 million users worldwide.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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