Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is still the world’s most popular browser, but it and Mozilla’s Firefox lost a lot of market share to Google’s Chrome in 2011, which is now firmly in second place.
According to StatCounter’s 2011 data, Internet Explorer currently has a 39% market share, Chrome is at 27%, while Firefox holds 25% of the market.
Safari and Opera follow with 6% and 2% market share, respectively.
These numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, however. Internet Explorer started 2011 with a 46% share of the market, and Firefox was over 30%. Both browsers steadily lost their share throughout the year, and almost all of it went to Chrome, which is clearly the year’s biggest gainer.
Net Applications’ numbers for 2011 are very different, with Internet Explorer having a much bigger lead (52%), but the trends are similar: Chrome was the only clear winner in 2011, having jumped from 10% to 19% market share.
Interestingly, Net Applications sees Firefox’ current market share almost exactly where it started 2011: at 22%.
Regardless of whose number you believe, it seems that Chrome is on a roll, and its steep upward trajectory shows that other browser makers should take notice. Otherwise, we may have a new king of the browser market in a year or two.