By Seth Weintraub
October 5, 2010

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer dips below 50% of the browser market for the first time since the late 90s.

Google’s (GOOG) Chrome browser continues to increase its market share at an impressive rate, more than tripling from 3.69%  September 2009 to 11.54%  September  2010,  according to browser analytics firm Statcounter.

A year ago it was a three-horse race between Apple’s (AAPL) Safari, Opera and Google’s Chrome for third place behind Firefox and IE.  While Firefox and Safari have held mostly flat, IE and Chrome have exchanged almost 10% of the global browser market share over the past year.

“This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars,” said StatCounter Chief Executive Aodhan Cullen. “Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%.”

Cullen cited the EU’s browser ballet as just one of the reasons for the decline in IE marketshare.  In Europe, IE represents just over 40% of the browser market, which is down six points on the year.

In North America, IE is still over half the browser market share at 52.3%

However, there is a wide variance in these  reports.  NetApplications this month showed almost a 60% share for IE.  That is still down significantly.

StatCounter counts their  Global Stats on the basis of more than 15 billion hits per month on 3 million+ member sites.

Full Press release follows:

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Browser Falls Below 50% of Worldwide Market for First Time – StatCounter

BOSTON & DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser has fallen below 50% of the worldwide market for the first time according to StatCounter. The company’s research arm, StatCounter Global Stats finds that Microsoft IE fell to 49.87% in September followed by Firefox with 31.5%. Google’s Chrome continues to increase market share at an impressive rate and has more than tripled from 3.69% in September 2009 to 11.54% in September this year.

“This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%.”

He added that Microsoft’s agreement with European Commission competition authorities to offer EU users a choice and menu of browsers from March may have tipped IE below 50% globally.

In Europe, IE market share has fallen to 40.26% in September this year from 46.44% in September last year. In North America IE is still above 50% at 52.3% followed by Firefox at 27.21% and Chrome at 9.87%.

The rise of Google Chrome in North America has also been impressive and in June it overtook Safari for the first time.

StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected by StatCounter on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month collected from across the StatCounter network of more than 3 million websites. StatCounter, which provides free website traffic information, publishes browser stats in its StatCounter Global Stats, a free online research tool. It also monitors Internet market share battles including Search Engines, Social Media and Operating Systems including mobile.

For individual country analysis go to:
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-200909-201009

Further information on our analysis is available at:
http://gs.statcounter.com/faq

About StatCounter

StatCounter, a free online visitor stats tool, was founded in 1999. It offers its members the chance to grow and improve their online businesses by allowing them to monitor the number of hits to their website; the geographical location of visitors; the various pages a visitor views; keywords used to find the site plus other features. For information on this real-time, user-friendly, and free visitor stats tool, please visit http://www.statcounter.com.

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