For all its critics, analytics firms have ranked Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular web browser since late 1998/early 1999, when it pushed Netscape off the number spot. But Microsoft’s domination seems to have come to an end, as Chrome has just taken the number one spot from IE in yet another company's browser rankings.
The news comes from analytics group Net Applications, which reports that Chrome now has a 41.66 percent share of the market while Internet Explorer holds 41.35 percent. The difference may seem small, but it’s worth mentioning that the firm combines both IE and Edge figures into one ‘Internet Explorer’ total.
This marks the sixteenth month in a row that Internet Explorer numbers have declined, and the fifth straight month that the loss has been greater than a point. Chrome, by comparison, has seen its market share increase every month since December 2014. Google’s browser climbed another 2.6 percent in the last month to jump ahead of IE/Edge.
The news comes just as Microsoft announced that it will no longer allow people to use Google via Cortana in Windows 10. All searches performed using the personal assistant will now use Bing from within the Edge browser.
There were other browsers that also saw their user numbers increase. Apple’s Safari was up 0.04 percent to 4.91 percent, and Opera, which now comes with a built-in VPN and integrated ad-blocker, increased from 1.66 percent to 1.89 percent. It wasn’t such good news for Firefox, however, which saw its market share drop beneath 10 percent for the first time since 2006.
The browsers in the ‘other’ category remained at 0.44 percent, but with new products such as the excellent Vivaldi being released all the time, more people may make the move to some of these less well-known browsers.
A number of analytics firms have reported Chrome ahead of IE for several years; StatCounter has had Google’s browser in the number one position since May 2012. But Net Applications’ report means that every major web measurement group now places Chrome ahead of IE.