|10/06/09 - 01.26|
I’m not sure if people have flagged this up before, but I’ve noticed a few interesting trends in the browser usage statistics presented by StatCounter’s Global Stats. Here for instance is the graph for roughly the last three months:
Clearly the overall trend in browser share isn’t changing much, that’s not what I’m interested here. Instead I’m looking at the fluctuations that the lines show around their mean value. Particularly the IE and Firefox can be seen to have the same fluctuations in the opposite directions. When IE’s usage is up, Firefox is down and vice versa.
Since these are the two most popular browsers this should come as no surprise. What’s interesting is the periodicity in these fluctuations. The peaks in the Firefox usage appear to be regularly spaced. Almost all of the peaks infact correspond to Sundays. I want to suggest that this is because more people use Firefox at home than they do at work, and hence when more people are at home at the weekend Firefox usage rises a percent or two.
What I couldn’t explain is the M shape in the IE line (or the corresponding W in Firefox’s line). This seemed a bit anomalous. I then remembered that this is worldwide data, and I have very limited knowledge of holidays and special events on a worldwide level that could be affecting the share in this way. I therefore decided to limit my scope to the UK to see the pattern there.
We have two long weekends in May, and both of them can be seen on this StatCounter graph. First was 2nd, 3rd, 4th May, and the second was 23rd, 24th, 25th. Both weekends have longer dips in their IE curves – three point dips rather than the regular two – reflecting the extra day off.
I’m not sure what the peak in Safari usage is though which happens around the time of the original M I couldn’t explain. Any thoughts?