According to Ireland-based, research firm StatCounter, Google’s Chrome 15 has overtaken Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 in global browser usage during the final week of November 2011. While IE8 is still the champ in the United States, Chrome’s popularity globally is attributed to increased usage while at home on the weekends as well as growth within the workplace during the week. The last time that a browser version took over the top spot was during early 2010 when Internet Explorer 8 knocked off IE7 from the number one position. In the United States, Internet Explorer 8 holds approximately 10 percent more market share than Google Chrome 15.
This announcement comes of the heels of the release of Google Chrome 16 which rolled out yesterday. Chrome 16 brings the ability to print to a Cloud Print-ready printer into Chrome as well as support for multiple profiles on a single PC. The latter is useful for households that utilize a shared computer and want to access bookmarks tied to an account as well as other personalized settings. Since Google uses silent, automatic updating of browsers, the vast majority of Chrome browsers will be upgraded within the next two weeks without any specific user interaction. However, it’s likely that Chrome 16 will retake the top spot after all Chrome browsers across the world are upgraded.
Earlier today, Microsoft announced that the company would adopt a similar tactic during early 2012 to upgrade old versions of Internet Explorer. Depending on the version of Windows, Internet Explorer will be upgraded via the Windows Update function. Mozilla also moved to copy Google earlier this year when deciding to convert to a quicker release schedule for future versions of the Firefox browser. Statcounter also declared Chrome to be the number two browser in the world behind the combined versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, thus knocking Firefox to the third position.