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Chrome Up, IE Down at the End of 2010

Google's Chrome browser finished December with a worldwide market share of 10 percent of all Internet browser usage, according to Net Applications' NetMarketShare data.

The Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Web analytic and statistical tracking company initially forecasted a longer journey for Chrome to hit the 10 percent mark. However, it cited stronger-than-expected adoption, especially in November, where Chrome use jumped by 5.64 percent. That spike helped Google boost Chrome use to one of every 10 Internet users as 2011 begins.

For Microsoft, Chrome's gain is Internet Explorer's pain. Use of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browsers declined another 1.3 percent over November's numbers to settle the year at 57.1 percent.

Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer product marketing, broke down some of the specifics for the year concerning worldwide usage of Internet Explorer in a blog post.

"At end of 2009, IE6 and IE7 accounted for 38.51 percent of Internet users, while IE8 had 24.15 percent of users worldwide," wrote Capriotti. "Fast forward twelve months later, IE6 and IE7 have shed over 40 percent of users and now only account for 22.98 percent of users worldwide -- with IE6 hitting an all-time low of 13.81 percent."

The lowered use rate for IE 6 is actually considered a good thing because of security considerations associated with the browser. Microsoft has publicly advocated browser upgrades, comparing IE 6 use to drinking spoiled milk, for instance.

Although IE use continues to decline, the Microsoft browser picture isn't all doom and gloom. Capriotti highlighted Net Applications data showing that Internet Explorer 8 has gained over 40 percent of usage since the end of 2009. IE 8 adoption is affecting the overall IE use numbers, according to this view. Microsoft typically touts IE 8 as having better security over its predecessors.

Microsoft's newest browser, IE 9, is also starting to make the charts. Although released in beta form on Sept. 15, IE 9 now claims 0.46 percent of worldwide Internet use. It has been downloaded over 20 million times, according to Capriotti. Microsoft may see a significant jump in IE 9 usage numbers if rumors hold that a release candidate version may drop on Jan. 28.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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