Browser no longer the most used way of connecting to the web

Note: This article has been moved over from my previous blog for historical purposes.

If u thought that the most popular way of connecting to the web was using the Web-Browser - think again. Instant Messagers and Media players have emerged as the clear leaders here. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, released last week, December 2003 figures indicate that a whopping Seventy-Six percent of Internet Users access the net using non-browser applications. View the Report (PDF) here.

This means that internet, as opposed to the popular notion, is not just lots and lots of webpages. It is fast becoming a part of applications - making the internet a part of your PC. Companies like Microsoft, Sun are already pushing products that work across the internet without involving the earlier complexities. Ever scanned photos from that digital camera and immediately uploaded it to Yahoo! photos ? Then you are already a part of the trend. Other popular examples include sharing music, collaborative meetings and more ..

According to Nielsen Netratings, the most popular applications were Windows Media Player (34%), AOL Instant Messenger (20.7%), Real Player (19.76%) and Yahoo! Messenger (12.26%)
What interests me in this little fact is that its a realization that the internet has already and quietely become a part of our lives.