StatCounter and Net Applications have just released their latest report on global web browser usage and, at least according to the former, Google's three-year-old Chrome browser has already surpassed Firefox in terms of usage. Net Applications still has Firefox ahead by 4 percentage points, but either way the trend is crystal clear and it's just a matter of time before Chrome takes in the second spot behind IE.

StatCounter reports that Chrome took 25.7% of the worldwide market last month, up from just 4.66% two years ago, compared to Firefox’s 25.23 percent. It's a marginal win, but a win nonetheless. Meanwhile, Net Applications says Chrome gained 0.7% in November to 18.2%, while Firefox dropped 0.4 percentage points to 22.1% in the same period. By the latter's estimates, Chrome could outpace Firefox by March 2012.


StatCounter Global Browser Usage

That's a massive achievement for Google in just a little over three years, even more so considering Opera has tried for years with a very capable alternative but currently holds less than 2% market share worldwide.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer maintains a strong lead with somewhere between 40.63% and 52.63% globally, depending on which source you trust the most. Safari holds a mere 5-6% when it comes to desktop browsers, but dominates the mobile space with 55% usage, according to Net Applications latest figures. Also in mobiles, the Android browser had bumped Opera Mini aside in October for the second-place spot, but in November, Opera Mini took some share back. They now hold 20.1% and 16% of that market, respectively.


Net Applications Global Mobile Browser Usage

Mobile browsers still represent a relatively small portion of the market, but with smartphones and tablets use growing exponentially mobile browsing is also on the rise. According to Net Applications' data for November, browser usage on personal computers represented 92% of the market while mobile devices took 6.7%.