Google's Chrome browser failed to increase its market share last month for just the second time in two years, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer added more than a percentage point, according to data by NetMarketShare. That's not the start to 2012 Google was hoping for, though there are still reasons to be optimistic about Chrome's future.
This is just one month, after all, and Chrome dropping from 19.11 percent in December 2011 to 18.94 percent in January 2012 is not cause for panic. If we go back a full year to January 2011, Chrome's market share was sitting at 11.15 percent, and just 5.72 percent in February 2010, which is as far back as NetApplications allows us to look .
Firefox also lost market share last month, dropping from 21.83 percent in December 2011 to 20.88 percent in January 2012. That's nearly a full percentage point, and it allowed Chrome to close the gap, despite losing share itself.
Internet Explorer emerged as the big winner, going from 51.87 percent in December 2011 to 52.96 in January 2012. It's actually the fifth time IE increased its share since February 2010 when it commanded 62.71 percent of the desktop browser market.
All this goes out the window if we look at market share numbers from StatCounter . According to StatCounter, IE's global market share dropped from 38.65 percent in December 2011 to 37.45 percent in January 2012, while Chrome increased its second place position from 27.27 percent to 28.4 percent during the same two-month period, with Firefox in third place sliding ever-so-slightly from 25.27 percent to 24.78 percent.