Google Chrome Becomes World's Most-Used Web Browser, Kinda

Brad Chacos

Well, here's something we didn't think we'd be saying yet: by one group's numbers, Google Chrome just passed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in the world. The difference is only a fraction of a single percentage point, but nevertheless, the king has fallen in ridiculously short order -- Chrome passed Firefox for the second-place spot less than six months ago.

Although Chrome's come out ahead on the weekend a few times, this marks the first time it's snatched the crown for an entire week. The International Business Times (yep, we're well-rounded folks) pointed us to the latest StatCounter numbers , which have Chrome sitting pretty with a 31.88 percent global browser share for last week, compared to IE's 31.47 percent slice of the pie. Firefox sits in a not-too-distant third with 26.42 percent. Chrome's share has been steadily increasing over the past year, while IE's been in a constant free-fall.

Don't count Internet Explorer out yet, though; Microsoft's baby is still tops in North America, South America and Asia, though IBT says the lead over Chrome in the U.S. is less than three percentage points, with Chrome expected to tip the scales in Google's favor by the end of June.

Of course, all of these metrics have to be taken with a grain of salt, as they can be heavily skewed depending on their data collection schemes. While Statcounter's numbers are well-regarded in the grand scheme of things, it collects its data based off of straight page views from 3 million websites .

Another top browser watching firm, Net Applications, only tracks around 40,000 sites, but it draws its data from daily unique visitors rather than page view metrics alone -- and that service has Chrome in third place in the browser wars with an 18.85 percent global share, compared to Firefox's 20.20 percent and IE's 54.09 percent.

Basically, it's all in how you look at things, but no matter what angle you take, this is a big moral victory for Chrome -- and a big loss for Internet Explorer.

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