If you listen closely, you can hear distant chants of “We’re number two! We’re number two!” coming out of Mountain View. Yes, Google Chrome has passed Firefox to become the second most popular web browser worldwide.
Chrome isn’t the only browser with something to cheer about this month, either. Internet Explorer 9 posted good numbers last month, too, with Microsoft’s latest now sitting at the top of the charts among users running Windows 7. On the overall chart, IE was up half a percentage point. That might seem like small potatoes, but that half a point nearly matches Chrome’s growth over the last month. It’s also the first real gain for IE in more than a year — it’s had break-even months, but generally Firefox and Chrome have been piling on the hurt on an ongoing basis.
So why is IE suddenly on the rise? There’s no denying that Ineternet Explorer 9 is a quality web browser. It offers competitive performance and some very slick features like Windows 7 taskbar integration. With Windows 7 system sales picking up as the holidays approach, and IE9 serving as the default browser, there just might be some folks kicking the tires and deciding that it’s worth sticking with the big blue E.
As always, take browser share reports with a grain or two of salt. While the numbers might be a few points off here or there, the two big keys for the end of 2011 are these: that Chrome will close the year as the second most popular browser, and that Internet Explorer 9 will finish on an upward tick for the first time in a long while.
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