Google Chrome passes Internet Explorer as top browser for first time


Microsoft has fallen behind Google in the browser wars.

Google's Chrome Web browser topped Microsoft's Internet Explorer among personal computer users last month for the first time, according to one closely watched measure.

Chrome was the browser of choice last month for 41.7 percent of PC users globally, compared with 41.3 percent for Internet Explorer, and 10 percent for Mozilla Firefox, according to data from Internet data tracker Net Applications. Other data trackers had Internet Explorer losing its lead earlier.

On mobile devices, where Microsoft has a tiny presence, Chrome's has long been in the lead. Google's browser accounts for 49 percent of usage, Net Applications says, followed by Apple's Safari at 29 percent. Internet Explorer checks in at 4 percent.

Web browsing has been of the most important battlegrounds in consumer technology during the past decade, and dominating the emerging field was a cornerstone of Microsoft's companywide push in the 1990s to expand its reach to the Internet. Browser windows can be gateways to other services, including search engines, email and news portals.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer was the most widely used Web browser on desktop computers since topping Netscape Navigator in 1998.

The Seattle company bundled its Web browser with its dominant personal computer operating system, a move that ultimately drew antitrust scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe.

In 2009, Microsoft settled a European Union complaint by offering consumers a choice of browser. By then, Chrome, launched in 2008, was already making inroads against an Internet Explorer brand badly damaged by security concerns and Microsoft's small mobile presence.

Microsoft last year replaced Internet Explorer with a new , Microsoft Edge, for its new Windows 10 operating system.

©2016 The Seattle Times
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