The last time Internet Explorer (IE) wasn't the top Web browser in the world, late 1998, Bill Clinton was president; France was the World Cup champion; Netscape was IE's top rival; and, oh yes, Google was founded. One anti-monopoly lawsuit, which was largely based on Microsoft's illegal tactics against Netscape, and not quite fourteen years later, IE has finally been knocked off as king of the browser mountain by Google's Chrome Web browser.
According to StatCounter, Chrome passed Internet Explorer during the week of May 13th. StatCounter's stats are based on a sample of 15 billion page views in the company's network and they show that Chrome is continuing to gradually pull away from IE.
Today, Chrome has taken first place with 32.76 percent share, while IE dipped to 31.94 percent. Chrome has been slowly moving up on IE for years now. The first time Chrome moved past IE, for even a day, only came on March 18th.
Since then IE, as it has for well over a year now, kept declining. At the same time, Chrome has kept growing. Chrome overtook Firefox, by StatCounter's figures, in December 2011.
The reason for Chrome's rise is simple: Chrome is a great Web browser. IE's decline is also easy to explain. Since the introduction of IE 9 last April hasn't seen a single significant update. In addition IE 9 only runs on Windows 7. There is no version of IE 9 for XP. And, even if there were, overall IE 9 is slower than both Chrome and Firefox. It's really no wonder that IE has declined even faster than I had expected it to.
By some other measurements, IE is still number one. But, no matter which Web browser counter you put your faith in, all of them show that Chrome is rising while IE is declining. The day of IE being the undisputed number one Web browser in the world is done.