Google 's Chrome browser overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) to become market leader globally for the first time last Sunday, according to data released n Wednesday by web analytics firm StatCounter.
"While it is only one day, this is a milestone," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. He added that Chrome still faces a battle to unseat its main rivals including IE and Firefox in many regions. Chrome remains in 2nd or 3rd place in China, United States and Germany, for example.
"Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE," added Aodhan Cullen, commenting on the weekend surges in Chrome usage.
On March 18, Chrome was used for 32.7 percent of all browsing, while Explorer had 32.5 percent share. When people returned to their offices on Monday, the IE share rose to 35 percent and Chrome's share slipped to 30 percent.
On a monthly basis, Chrome's market share has surged to 31 percent so far in March from 17 percent a year ago, while Explorer has slipped to 35 percent from 45 percent a year earlier.
The market share of Firefox is globally around 25 percent. Apple 's Safari is a distant number four with a 7 percent share of all browsing, with Opera at number five on 2 percent.
StatCounter data is based on over 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US) to the StatCounter network of more than three million websites.