At the rate things were going, it was only a matter of time before Google's Chrome browser skipped ahead of Mozilla Firefox, and according to at least one Web analytics company, it's finally happened. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's paid attention to the browser market. Chrome has been gaining ground ever since it was released, while Firefox long appeared to plateau, and even fall back a step a time or two.
According to data from StatCounter Global Stats , Chrome now owns more than a quarter (25.69 percent) of the worldwide browser market. That's enough to edge out Firefox (25.23 percent), if only by a hair. Microsoft's Internet Explorer, meanwhile, still leads them all with a 40.63 percent share of the global market.
"We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "Our stats measure actual browser usage, not downloads, so while Chrome has been highly effective in ensuring downloads our stats show that people are actually using it to access the web also."
Things play out a little differently in the U.S. IE still holds the lead with a 50.66 share, but coming in second is Firefox with a 20.09 percent share (down from 26.75 percent), followed by Chrome with 17.3 percent (up from 10.89 percent). Safari is standing pat with a 10.76 percent share, up slightly from 10.71 percent.