Chrome overtakes Firefox globally

It’s finally happened – at least according to one browser bean counting firm, anyway.

Firefox has for a long time been the number two browser behind Internet Explorer, but now that has changed.

The browser analysts at StatCounter observed that Chrome had overtaken Firefox in the UK market back in July. Then in September, they showed Chrome rapidly closing in terms of the world market, and predicted it would oust Firefox before the end of the year.

November’s browser stats have now arrived and that’s exactly what has happened, with Chrome nipping past Firefox in terms of global share.

Chrome has a worldwide market share of 25.7% – just two years ago it was less than 5% – and Firefox has a share of 25.2%. That has slipped from 26.8% since September, so Chrome would seem to be poaching Firefox users.

Internet Explorer is still top, but continues to slip, barely keeping its head above the 40% mark according to StatCounter. It’s on 40.6%, down 1.1% on its September figure, not as much as Firefox dropped but IE9 isn’t stopping the rot.

Although the firm does have some good news for Microsoft – Internet Explorer is at least treading water in the States. It has a 50.7% market share in the US, up from 50.2% year-on-year.

StatCounter’s estimations are very different from Net Applications, that other giant of the browser stats world. Net Applications shows Chrome gaining rapidly, but with a distance still to cover, with Google’s browser on 18.2% and Firefox on 22.1%.

Net Applications adjusts its figures to account for the fact that major markets such as China don’t visit the sites it tracks as much as countries in the western world, and it reckons that this weighting provides a more accurate global picture.

Chrome is still making rapid strides there, although it will probably be the middle of next year at least before it overtakes Firefox going by Net Applications’ figures.

However Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter’s CEO, is already looking to the battle for the top between Chrome and IE.

He said: “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.”


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