Google Chrome raced onto the scene just five years ago; a time period when Internet Explorer had entrenched itself as the undisputed leader. The browser became so popular that mid last year it was already disputing the lead with Microsoft's counterpart. Now, according to recent reports from web statistics firm StatCounter, Google has firmly taken the top spot in the browser market, and not by a small margin either.

According to June's data, Chrome holds a global market share of 43%, while IE lags behind at 25%. Meanwhile, Firefox services approximately 20% of the online population, with Safari and Opera coming in fourth and fifth.

It's interesting to note that Chrome's dominance may be even greater than the stats indicate, seeing as much of Microsoft's market share is tied to business use. Offices often have Internet Explorer set as the default browser and employees inherently use the system out of convenience. As a result, StatCounter's statistics show that Microsoft's market share undergoes a sizeable loss on weekends. If employers eventually make the transition to rivals Firefox and Chrome, then Internet Explorer's days could be numbered.

Some might be curious as to how Google rose to the top so quickly. After all, Microsoft effectively held a monopoly over the industry, and Firefox was a hit for those wanting a speedier interface and greater customization. Neowin suggests that much of Chrome's success can be attributed to its presence on the Android line of mobile devices. Unfortunately for Apple, the iPhone has failed to bring Safari the same loyal following, or at least not in any meaningful way considering Safari is confined to OS X's smaller market share on desktops.

However compelling the StatCounter results may be, these figures do not tell the whole story. StatCounter tracks using page views, while most would agree that the number of users is of greater importance