Chrome beats Internet Explorer in global Web browser race

Chrome beats Internet Explorer in global Web browser race

Summary: For the first time, in more than a decade, Microsoft's Internet Explorer has been kicked off its throne as the number one Web browser in the world.


Chrome is now the number one Web browser, followed by IE & Firefox.

Chrome is now the number one Web browser, followed by IE & Firefox.

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.

Chrome has moved ahead of IE and it's growing its lead.

Chrome has moved ahead of IE and it's widening its lead.

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.

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Topics: Browser, Apps, Google, Microsoft

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  • Nothing to crow about...

    StatCounter is flawed. Also most of the Chrome gains are in the developing world which indicates that most of them are still with XP.
    • 'Most' not still on XP in the developing world....

      As of the last 30 days, StatCounter has these figures for Windows XP vs Windows 7 usage and IE vs Chrome usage:

      Africa - WinXP - 46.74%; Win7 - 45.39%
      IE - 23.87%; Chrome - 29.91%
      (Firefox is the most popular browser in Africa - 40.3%)

      Asia - WinXP - 43.76%; Win 7- 47.12%
      IE - 32.99%; Chrome - 37.42% (Chrome is #1)

      South America - WinXP - 36.73%; Win7 - 55.98%
      IE - 27.18%; Chrome - 49.16%

      As you can see, the explanation for IE's demise in developing countries is not simply the use of XP. IE continues to fall despite the rapid adoption of Windows 7 in the third world. For instance, most users of IE in Africa are now using IE8 and IE9 (together they have about 20% of the market), yet IE usage continues to fall precipitously.

      I know some folks like to disregard the developing world's role in global Internet usage as if they're some sort of tiny non-factor. Nothing could be further from the truth. The developing world makes up 70% of all the people on the planet. They make up close to 60% of all Internet users despite the fact that Internet penetration is still quite low there. They're the reason why there are as many as 5 billion cellphone users out there and they're the main reason why the PC market continues to see positive growth overall.

      I don't think there's one singular reason for the fall in IE usage that applies to the entire globe. And no, it's not simply because Chrome may occasionally be faster. What I can say is that many of the Chrome users that I've been in regular contact with in the developing world like the browser because it has an auto-translate feature that will translate a foreign language website into the native tongue of the user. If you speak and read Spanish or Portuguese or Chinese etc. as your first language and want to be able to view the content on sites that only feature links and information in English, Chrome is going to be the browser of choice for a huge number of people. I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be one of the big reasons why Chrome is getting major adoption in developing countries.
      • Errr....

        Of the 3 you mentioned, Africa and South America probably have the least amount of computers in the world. How about North America, Europe? Why are those missing from what you mention? Maybe becaise IE is still beating Chrome?
      • Uh....

        [i]How about North America, Europe? Why are those missing from what you mention?[/i]

        Maybe because they're not generally considered part of the developing world...
        *ding dong*

        Even if America is doing everything in its power to head in that direction. But I digress.
    • This makes no sense

      [i]Also most of the Chrome gains are in the developing world which indicates that most of them are still with XP. [/i]

      Whatsoever. That's called a reach if I ever saw one.
  • Chrome is Chrap

    Actually it's okay I suppose, but that's not a very good gag.
  • A win is a win to SJVN

    You will not see him mention that according to the same source he is using, IE adoption in the UK is rising and IE is #1 in the US and UK markets.

    And, you hit the nail on the head there. IE is falling because of legacy Windows platforms in developing nations. That is why he is writing hit pieces attacking Windows 8. If Windows XP users jump to Windows 8, you will see those Chrome numbers drop like they did in the UK.
    Your Non Advocate
    • Leaves Me Wondering

      We'll just pass by with only a minor acknowledgment of the apparent desperation as you seek to find a way to pull out a win here. Though, to be honest, I cannot see why it really matters. The days of IE dominance in browsers is gone and gone for good. No one will ever be number 1 the way IE was.

      But, let's take a look at the point I would take away, were I one to fret over IE being number one.

      So, developing nations are still using XP. Yeah. They're people too and you should check that US-centric view because everyone, even your heroes Microsoft, are way past parochialism.

      Microsoft wishes to encourage people to leave XP by having the browser and office suite leave it behind. All the other browser makers keep supporting XP. The web experience is no longer browser-tied. (Though, there was a death in a friend's family last week. I visited the mortuary's obituary page and video tributes were Windows Media Player only. Le sigh.)

      I argued back in 2009 that Job 1 for Windows 7 was to get Windows users off of XP, but, Microsoft priced Win7 and set up the process to discourage upgrades from XP. I think they do this because their OEM partners would rather Microsoft was pushing the line "Time for a new computer." Here's the result, three years later and the still high usage of 11 year old XP is frustrating Microsoft's goals regarding IE.

      So, I come back to the point, Microsoft has to make the upgrade from XP to Win8 very easy and at minimal cost, or else they will continue to see large numbers of their users holding back on ancient os versions, and that is not in Microsoft's strategic interests.
      • Lots of words, very little info

        Look at the data again. Look at other data sources that show IE has over a 50% market share and Chrome has a 20% market share.

        The only place that skews the numbers in Chromes favor are in 3rd world countries.
        Your Non Advocate
      • Sometimes the desperation...

        Is to get the facts right rather than letting people magically turn a random stat into a fact.

        People who support his view aren't likely to do that as it means producing negative information about their own preference. So not surprisingly, it almost always comes from the opposing camps or the indifferent.

        Also not surprisingly, those who support the product will try just as hard to refute the counterargument or failing that - ridicule the bearer of those counterarguments.

        It really works both way.

        (i.e.: Your post looks like you're doing EXACTLY what you're complaining about...)

        You also have to look at the writer's past history and biases. If the writer hate a particular product, then articles about why that product is doomed are probably not going to be that meaningful.

        It's the "When a dog bites a man, it's not news, but when a man bites a dog is it" issue. If he were writing about how IE was recovering and why it's improve a lot and more people seem to be liking it at the expense of Chrome - THEN this would be a meaninful article - simply because it meant something happened that overwhelmed the writer's bias.
    • This makes no sense - reprised

      [i]IE is falling because of legacy Windows platforms in developing nations. [...] The only place that skews the numbers in Chromes favor are in 3rd world countries. [/i]

      Whatsoever. That's called a reach if I ever saw one.
      • Look at the data

        If you look at the same stat counter data, you will see Chrome falling in many European countries with an uptick in IE adoption. Why?
        Your Non Advocate
  • Chrome beats Internet Explorer in global Web browser race

    If Google continues on the same path with their privacy issues don't expect them to be in the lead for very long. Its an IE & Firefox world for me.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Oh Lovie I see you got a top rated from zdnet, but thats not suprising

      since every w fanboy is yucking up this article ..........
      Over and Out
    • So use Comodo Dragon...

      and switch to Bing or Yahoo for a search engine. Google privacy issue all gone! I use Dragon because the Chrome engine starts and loads pages lightning fast! Something that IE9 is abysmal at so far. The Dragon EULA has better settings, last I checked.

      However, I use Mozilla or IE9 for banking because Rapport is not supported on Chrome.

      This on Vista Ultimate x64
  • Something is wrong with those stats...

    Because everyone else is showing IE (all versions) at around 55%.. Chrome (all versions) 22% and Firefox (all versions) 19% . Sorry.... 22 is a long way from 55. Did you find a stat company with a hatred of MS as big as yours?
    • Cherry picking of data

      Click the stat counter link. IE is on an upward tick throughout most of Europe at the expense of Chrome. What SJVN is demonstrating is that a lot of 3rd world countries still using Windows XP visit a lot of websites with Chrome.
      Your Non Advocate
  • RE: IE9 runs on Vista

    But IE10 won't
    • Vista who

      Nothing runs on vista.
    • Hmmm.....

      While Microsoft hasn't officially said so, there will not be IE10 for Vista as Vista has gone past the 5 year regular support. [MS doesn't update components after 5 years.]