Based off a report from Ireland-based research firm StatCounter, the Google Chrome browser has moved into second place globally for the first time. While Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still remains at the top, Mozilla’s Firefox browser continued on a downward trend that started at the end of 2010. The research firm reported that Chrome took a 25.7 percent market share in November 2011 while Firefox fell to 25.23 percent. Just two years ago, the Google Chrome browser was barely over 4.5% and was tied with browsers like Apple’s Safari and Opera. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer surprisingly maintained browser share and hovered around 40 percent of all browsers across the globe.
Competing research firm Net Applications isn’t ready to declare Google Chrome the clear second place leader yet, but sees a similar pattern of shrinking Firefox support and growing Chrome adoption. Net Applications is predicting that Chrome will overtake Firefox by March 2012. Google’s rapid release cycle is typically credited with the rapid adoption of the browser. Using a six-week revision cycle since the launch of the browser, Google has been able to roll out speedy updates and improve the speed at which users can browse the Web. Due to growing competition, Mozilla recently ditched yearly updates to adopt a similar speedy release cycle. Google Chrome 16 recently hit beta channels last month and is expected to be released in December 2011
Regarding mobile browsers on smartphones and tablets, market share continued to fluctuate between Android and Opera Mini. BlackBerry and Symbian also each garnered three percent of the market. Safari remained at the top of the pack with 55 percent of market share due to use on the iPhone and iPad devices. Console browsing usage was still dominated by the PlayStation 3. Other console browsers included Opera, WebTV and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
For more about Google Chrome, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Google Chrome.