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Google Chrome Browser Surpasses IE in U.S. Market

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has lost its long-time U.S. market lead to Google Chrome, according to stats published today by Adobe Digital Index (ADI).

ADI, a marketing research arm of Adobe Systems, found that the Chrome browser eclipsed IE in April, with 31.8 percent of U.S. market share vs. IE's 30.9 percent share. Coming in third was Apple's Safari browser, with a 25 percent U.S. market share (see figure). Those browser assessments were based on Web traffic sampling of both desktop and mobile devices, based on data from "10,000 U.S. consumer-facing Web sites in April 2014," according to Adobe's announcement.

ADI U.S. browser market
[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. U.S. browser market. Source: Adobe Digital Index.

Chrome took the lead because of the proliferation of mobile devices, in which Google's Android and Apple's iOS operating systems predominate. Much lower in the rankings was Mozilla's Firefox browser, with an 8.7 percent U.S. market share in April. ADI noted that Firefox has seen a 20 percent decline over a two-year period, which was "likely due to its lack of mobile presence."

In terms of global stats, the Google Chrome browser reached the No. 1 position last year, according to ADI. However, in terms of pure mobile stats, Apple's Safari browser held the lead.

Microsoft's IE browser still leads in terms of desktop use, according to ADI's analysis. That stat might be attributed to Windows use on PCs, where IE is bundled with Windows by Microsoft as part of the operating system. The old adage used to be that Windows ran on 90 percent of the world's PCs. However, analyst and consulting firm Gartner Inc. has predicted that Windows will just have a 25 percent OS market share by 2016.

Another research effort tracking browser use is Net Applications, with its global Market Share tracking service. It also showed IE in the lead in terms of desktop use at 57.88 percent in April. The Chrome browser was ranked No. 2 at 17.92 percent, followed by Firefox at 17 percent. However, Net Applications' mobile tracking showed a different story. In terms of mobile use, Safari was the leading browser at 48.72 percent, with Chrome at 15.79 percent and IE trailing at 2.11 percent in April.

StatCounter's data bucked the trend. It did not show IE with a lead on the desktop. Instead, Chrome led on the desktop in April with 48.08 percent of the market, followed by IE at 23.19 percent and Firefox at 20.13 percent.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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