Slow Uptake for IE8 in Early Days

Rahul Sood, co-founder of Voodoo PC, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard back in 2006, sent me his Macbook Air competitor PC yesterday. Since Microsoft (s msft) earlier this week released its latest version of Internet Explorer, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. So I downloaded the brand-new IE8, only to realize that since I’ve rarely used IE 7, I have no comparison to make. I sense I’m not alone.

According to data collected by StatCounter, a web traffic measurement startup, IE 8 saw global usage the first day of launch (March 19) of 1.39 percent, rising to just 1.56 percent the next day. That strikes me as an awfully low adoption rate, especially considering that Microsoft “owns” the desktop. In comparison, Statcounter data shows that usage of Firefox 3 “more than doubled” following its launch in June of 2008, to 18.9 percent over a 3-day period from 7.8 percent at beta testing. (Track how IE 8 is doing on Statcounter web site.)

[polldaddy poll=1472777] I ended up downloading the other three competitors to Microsoft IE8 –- Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple’s (s aapl) Safari 4 Beta (for PC.) My informal and unscientific test showed that Google’s (s goog) Chrome was just blazingly fast and great for Google-specific products such as Google Docs, Google Mail and Google Chat. I did see one difference: The web browsing experience feels much more robust and faster on a PC vs. a Mac. Gee I wonder why that is?