Chrome overtakes Firefox in browser market share

Google's Chrome has beat off stiff competition from long-time silver medallist Firefox to become the second most commonly used browser on the world wide web.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) in all its versions still holds the top spot, having coming pre-installed on some 90 per cent of systems for nearly two decades. But Google's multi-process browser is now well and truly number two.

Firefox had maintained this coveted spot for several years, but according to StatCounter, in November its market share dropped to 25.23 per cent, while Chrome's grew to 25.69 per cent.

Or did it? Statistics from rival tracker firm Net Market share (NMS) have the results as 22 per cent Firefox, 18 per cent Chrome. So which do we believe?

This isn't even the biggest discrepancy between the market research organisations, with lower Firefox and Chrome results contributing to a higher Internet Explorer total over at NMS. There, you'll find IE holds a commanding 52 per cent of the market, whereas over at StatCounter it's reported as just under 41 per cent.

Windows Blog recently got quite excited about the growth of Internet Explorer 9, which has increased its user base massively in the last 6 months compared to Chrome and Firefox. However, much of this can be attributed to users of older IE browsers finally moving over to the newer version. It could also be that those wanting to use 'alternative' browsers to the traditional Microsoft one have all found their favourites, but that seems unlikely.

In reality, the company that nails the best mobile version of its browser is going to be the true winner as, that's where the biggest growth in user base is really going to be found over the next few years.