A new survey of internet browser usage has revealed that Microsoft's once-dominant Internet Explorer software is now used by less than half of all internet users.
The survey survey, conducted by Netmarketshare.com, revealed that while Internet Explorer is still the biggest single player in the market, its overall usage has now dipped below the 50 per cent mark - meaning the majority of the world's internet users are now utilising something other than the Microsoft browser.
Taken in October this year, the survey puts Firefox in the number two spot, with a market share of around 21.2 per cent.
Third place is occupied by Google's Chrome browser which has seen its growth increase due to the popularisation of the Android operating system on mobile and tablet devices (which made up about 6 per cent of users in this survey). Chrome has around a 16.6 per cent share of the browser market.
The statistics reveal a very different picture from the broswer amrket of a few years ago, when analysts expressed surprise at the way Firefox had managed to garner a 10 per cent share, with other browsers barely scraping into the single digit percentages.
Despite the popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple's Safari browser is still in fourth place, with an overall market share of 8.72 per cent.
That said, Safari has seen the strongest growth in the last year, increasing by an impressive 6.58. These are not necessarily users converting from other browsers though, but are likely to be newcomers to internet browsing via mobile devices such as the Apple iPad or iPhone.