Google has done what no other browser makes could do over the past 13 years; Chrome surpassed IE for the first time in market share.
Chrome was estimated by StatCounter to have held 32.71 percent of the browser market on Sunday, while IE declined to 32.48 percent and Mozilla was at 24.88 percent. Chrome is a so-called weekend browser that is stronger on Saturdays and Sundays than during week. In contrast IE loses market share on weekends. The most popular browser version was Chrome 17 with 29.51 percent. IE9 was a distant second with just 15.6 percent. IE8, Firefox 10 and Firefox 11 followed with 13.56 percent, 9.91 percent, and 6.86 percent, respectively.
So far, Chrome has only surpassed IE on a single day, but there is a good chance that the browser will permanently exceed IE market share by May 2012. When Chrome exceeded Firefox market share for the first time last year, it took the browser about six weeks to consistently pull ahead of Mozilla's browser.
For the entire month, IE still has the lead. The browser currently stands at 34.78 percent. Chrome is at 30.91 percent and Firefox at 25.04 percent. In StatCounter's charts, Microsoft will surrender about 0.9 points of share this month, Google will gain about 1 point and Mozilla will add about 0.2 points.
There is no clear information when Microsoft gained the market share lead with Internet Explorer. The best information available comes courtesy of the EWS Web Server Survey at UIUC, which, however, was abandoned in late 1998. The survey found that IE surpassed Netscape Navigator market share in Q4 of 1998 when it captured 50.43 percent of the market and Netscape dropped to 46.87 percent.