CoStar is no longer the "star"

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

I found the below story extremely interesting. It is important for fellow CoStar users to understand the website is only compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer. To exclusively advertise your listings on CoStar now means you are only exposing your property to 60% of the marketplace. I have migrated marketing my properties to LoopNet and suggest my colleagues to do the same.

CoStar is not compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Macintosh Safari. CoStar is simply too far behind the times!

See attached story:


Microsoft's IE Suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts

Anders Bylund (TMF Zahrim)
May 5, 2010


April numbers are in from Web analytics firm Net Applications, and the song remains the same.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) still owns the largest slice of the web browser market; 60% of all page requests tracked by Net Applications last month came from an IE browser. The open-source Firefox browser is holding steady in second place with a 24.6% market share, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)continues to pull away from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Google's Chrome now holds a 6.7% share, versus Safari's 4.7% of the global market.

When comparing with last month's report, two clear trends emerge: Chrome is stealing market share rapidly, and mostly from Internet Explorer. Chrome increased its modest market share by 9.8% this month. If it keeps that pace up for a year, the once-irrelevant upstart would land a respectable 18.8% market share at the expense of all the other players.

Over the long term, Firefox and Chrome have been decimating Microsoft's IE -- and look likely to continue doing so. Microsoft's browser is still the default Web application on most computer systems shipped, and that's a huge advantage for Mr. Softy. But Google has already struck an accord withSony (NYSE: SNE) to have Chrome as the default browser on some Sony Vaio laptops. That's a small deal in the grand scheme of things, but imagine what would happen if a market leader like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) signed a similar deal with Google, or the Firefox Foundation, or even Opera. Microsoft's browser colossus stands upon feet of clay, it seems.

And of course, the continuing shift of web browsing from old-school computers to fancy new smartphones will only magnify this trend. Chrome is the browser on Android phones like the HTC Incredible or Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Droid, and although at least one rival browser is available, Safari is probably what you'll use on an Apple iPhone or iPad. The Windows Phone 7 operating system will certainly feature an IE browser -- but that platform won't be available until the coming holiday season, giving iPhones and Androids some time to run away with the mobile market in the meantime.

Microsoft's online strategy has always centered on the prime positioning of that old IE browser. Would Bing have made a dent at all if it weren't the default search provider in IE browsers? I doubt it. And with even that matchless advantage apparently fading to black, month by month, Microsoft might as well give up on its online division. Heck, sell Bing and Windows Live to Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) and see whether a real web business outfit could make them work.

Can Microsoft turn this sinking ship around, perhaps with a reworked Internet Explorer 9 release? I don't think so, but feel free to set me straight in the comments below.


Comments (7)

Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

Hey Brian, that is very interesting...I did not know that, and we use Costar. So the solution is to also use LoopNet and other means to get word out. Costar is very strict with their licensing. They are probably having a very hard time with so many commercial agents dropping off and out. Thanks very much for the info.

May 22, 2010 11:35 AM
Brian Dapice
Keller Williams Realty - Danvers, MA
Bostonnulls North Shore

Yes. I was a little caught off-guard by this also. Being a Mac user I did know it wasn't compatible with Safari, which isn't exactly an issue.  I always accessed CoStar at the office, which uses IE. But with the new WISP regulations, we changed to Firefox. All of a sudden I couldn't log in.  So I did the research and here lies the results. CoStar is only compatible with IE, intern exposing their offerings to 60% of the market.

May 26, 2010 04:55 AM

i heard costar is coming out for macs this year which is a relief.  i just use vm ware anyway...  where are you getting your stats?  60%?  regardless, if you're not using costar, you're not in commercial real estate.  it's that simple. pay for what you get...costar researchers confirm and update the information, so you don't have to spend hours sifting through BS.  i value my time too much to waste it looking around elsewhere. 

May 26, 2010 08:58 PM
Brian Dapice
Keller Williams Realty - Danvers, MA
Bostonnulls North Shore

I agree. CoStar is simply the best commercial real estate service provider. But the story isn't about what's better. The story is about Internet Explorer steadily slipping in the marketplace. I incorporate CoStar into the subject because their website is exclusively compatible with Internet Explorer. It has nothing to do with Macintosh or any other computer maker. It has to do with browser developers. There are four major web browsers out there and CoStar is only viewable with one of them. And that browser is only being used by 60% of the online viewers, thus exclusively marketing your properties on CoStar seems to be a dis-service to your clients.

The stats you are questioning the source of are published in the blog. Did you read the entire blog or just skim the subject line?

I did not hear CoStar is going to be compatible this year with anything other than Internet Explorer. I specifically had a conversation with the Boston areas rep and he simply said "we would have to go through thousands and thousands of lines of code to make it compatible with other browsers", for which I replied "you can look at it that way, or you could ask yourself the question: When would we like to be viewable to everyone?".

I see Internet Explorer as poorly developed and too exclusive in nature. It speaks it's own language. It's a thing on the past! If CoStar doesn't develop a website accessible to Firefox, Chrome and Safari -- they will also sooner than later become a thing of the past!

May 31, 2010 04:25 AM
Tad Lagestee
Costar acquires Loopnet. Ugh.
May 08, 2011 01:58 PM
Brian Dapice
Keller Williams Realty - Danvers, MA
Bostonnulls North Shore

Yeah, I read that too.  The article said the "merge" wouldn't go live until closer to the end of 2011.  Hopefully the consolidation will be Mac friendly.

May 09, 2011 03:23 AM
Mike Crosby
Mike Crosby Realty - Placentia, CA
Placentia- Yorba Linda Real Estate - 714-742-2897

In November 2013 the numbers are IE 58.3%, Firefox 18.5% and Chrome 15.4%, Safari 5.9%.  Of course a lot of brosing is being done from Phones today.

Dec 18, 2013 07:45 AM