Google Chrome Becomes The Most Popular Web Browser, Overtakes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer In Usage

Google Chrome has become the most popular web browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, once the most-used browser on the internet, has been dethroned by the search giant’s offering.

Microsoft Internet Explorer once commanded a committed usage share of more than 95 percent. Although this was way back in 2002, Internet Explorer’s dominance was unshakeable despite the presence of multiple browsers. However, its supremacy was challenged by Mozilla’s Firefox and its foundations were shaken by the introduction of Google Chrome. While Firefox launched in 2004, it wasn’t until Chrome’s launch in 2008 that Internet Explorer really started bleeding users.

Despite steadily and increasingly losing users, it wasn’t until this month that Internet Explorer was dethroned. Roughly eight years since its debut, Google Chrome is now the world’s most popular internet browser, reported Sky News. Interestingly, Chrome’s ascension to the throne of internet browsers was announced by StatCounter almost four years ago. However, it is only now that rival metrics firm NetMarketShare has come to the same conclusion.

Although the percentages offered by both the firms vary greatly, they have the same conclusion, reported PCWorld. According to NetMarketShare, Chrome captured 41.66 percent of desktop browser usage in April, compared to 41.35 percent for Internet Explorer. While StatCounter doesn’t disagree on Chrome’s supremacy, the firm claims Chrome has a very impressive user share of 60.47 percent, while Internet Explorer has to be content with just 13.25 percent, reported Gizmodo. If StatCounter’s percentages are to be believed, Internet Explorer has been relegated to the third spot, as the firm claims Firefox commands a user share of 15.62 percent. All the statistics are for the month of April 2016.

Google Chrome Becomes The Most Popular Web Browser – Overtakes Microsoft's Internet Explorer In Usage

Incidentally, Computerworld released a detailed report in March which concluded that by May 2016, Chrome would be the undisputed champion, and Google’s browser hit the mark right on time. Interestingly, Microsoft has long trusted NetMarketShare and even called it the most accurate source for indicating how the browsers performed against each other.

What explains the difference in statistics? StatCounter merely samples raw page views across a network of sites, and its data and conclusions are much faster than NetMarketShare, which uses a far complex algorithm with multiple variables. NetMarketShare, also known as NetApplications, takes into consideration unique visits. It then assimilates its data and then segregates it against internet traffic that has been separated country-wise. Needless to say, such a system offers a much clearer picture showing where the internet is accessed and which browser is commonly preferred.

Google Chrome is unlikely to give up its crown anytime soon. While Microsoft has been quite slow in releasing major updates, Google has been actively pushing newer releases of Chrome. Moreover, the search company plans to introduce a new Chrome design, one that’s optimized to be even more touch-friendly.

Internet Explorer was also impacted by the ruling that mandated Microsoft is to offer a choice of browsers when users installed the Windows Operating System (OS). Additionally, the company has effectively retired Internet Explorer and has been actively developing a completely new offering called Edge, which, despite being launched fairly recently, commands an impressive 4.39 percent of user share. Unfortunately, trends indicate people actively abandon Edge shortly after trying it. Edge was introduced in Windows 10.

Why is Microsoft Internet Explorer losing? Google, as well as Mozilla, noticed the lack of developer support for Internet Explorer and each built a relatively open browser. Moreover, both the rivals have a huge number of extensions that greatly improve user experience and allow them to have a customized browsing experience. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer still has an abysmal number of extensions.

It appears Microsoft Explorer has realized the mistakes it committed with Internet Explorer and vastly improved the Edge browser. Moreover, the company has introduced a voice-based interactive assistant Cortana, which gets its very own search bar. But are these offerings enough to challenge Firefox and, more importantly, Google Chrome?

[Photo by Kai Zhang/Getty Images]