Google’s Chrome browser has officially surpassed Microsoft Internet Explore (and everything else) to become the most-used browser on the global Internet, reports Jon Russell at The Next Web (via Global Nerdy’s Joe deVilla). The crowning statistics come courtesy of Statcounter, whose data shows that Chrome passed IE during the week of May 7 through 13. Mozilla’s Firefox remains solidly in third place.

As of last week, Chrome holds 32.76 percent of worldwide browser usage, Statcounter’s numbers show, giving it just a slight edge above Internet Explorer, which has 31.96 percent market share globally. Firefox has held steady at just over 25 percent. Apple’s Safari holds nearly 14 percent, putting it in fourth place. And Opera remains the innovative underdog at a mere 1.75 percent market share.

These numbers shift drastically when you look at U.S. data only. Here in The States, IE remains king, with nearly 38 percent of all users. Chrome is in second, with about 23 percent of the market, while Firefox remains a close third, with 22.5 percent.

Of course, the Statcounter numbers are only one estimate. And others give IE a far more substantial lead. According to NetMarketShare, for example, IE held on to a whopping 54 percent of the market, as of April. And Chrome actually comes in third with 18.85 percent, compared to 20.20 percent held by Firefox in NetMarketShare’s study. That said, StatCounter’s numbers are a trusted metric in the industry, and are far more recent than NetMarketShare’s latest count.

As ZDNet reported, Chrome actually passed IE for one day (March 18) before falling back to second place. So there is, of course, a chance that Microsoft can regain its top position with IE 9. That said, Chrome’s upward assent appears imminent, so we expect to see the gap widen to a more substantial (and trustworthy) margin in the weeks and months to come.