Google Inc's Chrome Web browser has grabbed more than 20 percent of global market share, while Microsoft Corp's long-time leader Internet Explorer has slipped below 50 percent, according to Internet statistics firm StatCounter. A sevenfold increase in usage in the last two years is a boost for Google, which is trying to convert its dominance in Web search into operating systems and mobile software, bringing it into direct competition with Microsoft.
Google's Browser Tops 20 Percent Market Share
Google's Chrome browser, launched in December 2008, took 20.7 percent of the global market in June, according to StatCounter, up from 2.8 percent in the same month in 2009. In the same time, it said the various versions of Internet Explorer fell to 44 percent from a 59 percent share two years ago, while Mozilla's Firefox dipped slightly to 28 percent from 30 percent.
Google's gains come as the company makes a concerted push into browser-centric, or "cloud" computing. In May, Google launched its long-awaited Chromebook, a laptop that works almost entirely on software accessed via the Internet, rather than installed on the machine. This is a direct challenge to software leaders Microsoft and Apple
Market Share data for June
Microsoft, which controlled as much as 95 percent of the market in the early 2000s after crushing browser pioneer Netscape, has seen its market share ebb after disputes with antitrust regulators in the United States and Europe, which accused Microsoft of abusing its monopoly in operating systems to dominate the browser market.
According to its market share data for June, Microsoft's Internet Explorer leads with 53.7 percent, Firefox has 21.7 percent and Chrome 13.1 percent. Apple Inc's Safari has 7.5 percent and Norway's Opera Software (OPERA.OL) 1.7 percent.