Internet Explorer continues to its five year slide downward. In five years, it has lost 30 percent market share. Google Chrome, meanwhile, has more than tripled in market share since last year.
The browser landscape continues to slowly change

Like the Romans defending the besieged fortresses of their once expanding kingdom, Microsoft's Internet Explorer grimly faces Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome browsers.  In 2005, Microsoft had a huge lead controlling roughly 90 percent of the internet browser market.  However, over time it saw its empire decay as it failed to keep up speed-wise, failed to provide web standards, and failed to foster an add-on community.

The latest numbers illustrate these concerns.  According to market research firm Net Applications, from March 2010 to April 2010 Microsoft's Internet Explorer dropped from 60.65 to 59.95 percent of the market.  That's down 7.82 percent from a year ago and represents a continuation of Microsoft's browser woes.

Firefox roughly held steady, rising 0.07 percent to reach 24.59 percent.  It's up just a bit from the 23.84 percent it held last April.

Apple's Safari browser market share went from 4.65 percent in March to 4.72 percent in April. 

Likewise, Opera on the PC has dropped from 2.40 percent in December to 2.30 percent in April, but is up from 2.04 percent a year ago.  Opera also can brag a bit as its mobile browser has now entered the global browsing market share picture thanks to its broad adoption.  A year ago it held about 0.25 percent of the total browsing market; it now holds a small, but significant 0.79 percent.

The biggest winner, by far, though, on the browsing scene is Google Chrome.  Chrome jumped from 1.79 percent last April to 6.73 percent last month.  These days Google appears to be the one player that has the smartphone and browsing markets most figured out.

Let's be clear; Google and Mozilla still don't hold much of the market compared to Microsoft's 60 percent chunk.  However, if Microsoft continues its five year trend of sliding as much as 10 percent per year,  it may only be a couple years before Google and Mozilla match it in market share.  

Updated 5/4/2010 @ 11:00 am

The market share numbers for Safari were listed incorrectly in the article and have been updated.

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