Google Chrome overtakes Firefox as No. 2 browser worldwide

If the browser wars represent a proxy fight between tech titans Microsoft and Google, things just got a lot more interesting with the release of usage figures for the companies' respective Web browsers, Internet Explorer and Chrome, The Register reports.

According to new statistics from Internet monitoring firm StatCounter, Chrome took a small lead over Mozilla Firefox to become the No. 2 browser in the world, as predicted in a GCN story from October.

For the month of November, Chrome's global share of the browser market was at 25.69 percent. That placed it slightly ahead of Firefox, which had 25.23 percent. Internet Explorer remained No. 1 by a wide margin, however, with a 40.63 percent share. In the United States, however, IE gained slightly, and Firefox held on to second place.

Chrome, which The Register reports has grown 10 percent in the past year, has been particularly popular outside the United States. It overtook Firefox in Europe in July and is already the No. 1 browser in South America.

In the United States, IE use grew, going from  50.24 percent to 50.66 percent, and Firefox remained in second place, although its share of the market fell from 26.75 percent to 20.09 percent, StatCounter reported. Chrome rose to 17.3 percent from 10.89 percent. Safari rose slightly to 10.76 percent, up from 10.71 percent.

Because StatCounter's numbers reflect actual use and not just downloads, StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen said Chrome has been "highly effective in ensuring…that people are actually using it to access the Web."

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