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Google Chrome Now Most Popular Browser Ahead of IE

It's taken a while for the stats to support the trends, but it finally seems that Google Chrome can be regarded as the Web's number one browser. According to data compiled by Stat Counter, Internet Explorer lost its long-standing crown of prestige last week, as Chrome leap-frogged its rival to become the most used online browser.

Firefox, Safari and Opera currently chart at third, fourth and fifth respectively, but the latter two trail the leaders by a distance.

The analytics site showed Chrome's tilt for the title taking shape earlier this year, as figures had it ahead of IE for one day on March 18th, but with Chrome being the most popular for the whole of last week, it seems the balance of power may have permanently shifted.

Desktop domination comes hot-on-the-heels of Google's elevation to the top of the mobile browsing charts, as Stat Counter's findings in March had the company's Android mobile browser overtaking Opera as the most popular online browser on mobile devices.

It is doubtful whether IE will be able to wrestle back its position anytime soon, but its source for comfort is twofold. First, measuring the Web is an imprecise science based on small scale measurement surveys that are scaled up, so perhaps Stat Counter's graphs fail to tell the full story. Secondly, IE9 has received favourable reviews and appears to be Microsoft's slickest browser to date, which has been reflected by weekend spikes in usage as it gains home users. (ed : And thirdly, IE10 is just round the corner and should bring some pretty impressive improvements on IE9).

The moment nevertheless belongs to Chrome, who will no doubt look to continue developing and adding tools to its armoury to retain top-spot.