Posted By RichC on March 20, 2012
According to StatCounter, Chrome accounted for 32.70% of browser market share on Sunday, followed by 32.48% for IE and 24.88% for Firefox. The most popular browser version was Chrome 17 with 29.51%. IE9 was a distant second with just 15.61%. IE8, Firefox 10 and Firefox 11 followed with 13.56%, 9.91%, and 6.86%, respectively.
On a regional basis, Chrome has overtaken IE in Africa and is now the second most popular browser behind Firefox. In Asia, Chrome has passed IE and is the most popular browser since the beginning of this month. In Europe, the browser market is a three-horse race in which Firefox and IE are exchanging leads, but Chrome has recently been able to overtake IE on weekends and is now closing in on both browsers. In North America, IE has still a substantial lead, but Chrome has replaced Firefox as the second most popular browser. The same is the case in Oceania. Chrome has been the dominating browser for some time in South America and currently reaches peak market shares of almost 50%.
For the entire month, IE still has the lead globally. IE currently stands at 34.78% while Chrome is at 30.91% and Firefox at 25.04%. The trend shows that Microsoft will surrender about 0.9 points of share this month, Google will gain about 1 point and Mozilla will add about 0.2 points.
Browser market share data before 2006 are scarce and it is impossible to trace back market share numbers that compare to today’s StatCounter data. However, the EWS Web Server at UIUC, which was available from 1996 to 1998 found that IE surpassed Netscape Navigator market share in Q4 of 1998 with 50.43% versus 46.87%. It is widely believed that it was IE4, which was released in September 1997, that captured the market lead for Microsoft thanks to its deep Windows 95 integration, and that it was IE5, which was launched in March 1999, that cemented Microsoft’s browser market leadership that exists until today.
Google first released Chrome as a beta version in September 2008. Despite heavy advertising, it took Google nearly half a year to gain 2% market share. In its first full year, gained 4.07 market share points. In its second year, Chrome added 8.81 points and in its third 11.84 points. In march, Chrome will post a new 12-month record market share gain of about 12.6 points, while IE is down about 9.7 points and Firefox is down about 4.6 points. IE has surrendered about 28% of its market share over a period of 12 months, StatCounter data suggests.
The data provided by the web analytics firm indicates that Chrome will pass IE market share on a monthly average basis for in May or June of this year. At that time both IE and Chrome could be holding about 33% of the browser market.