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Google Chrome edges out Internet Explorer. Will the lead last?

Google Chrome has dethroned Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to a new report. 

By Matthew Shaer / May 21, 2012

A man stands in front of an advertisement for Google Chrome in the London Underground.

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Google Chrome has unseated Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the most popular Web browser in the world. According to the team at StatCounter, a website analytics company, Chrome now holds approximately 32 percent of the global market, while Internet Explorer holds approximately 31 percent. Not a huge gulf between the two, obviously, but a notable milestone nonetheless – and the first time Chrome has held the lead for a substantial portion of time. 

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Back in March, StatCounter had Chrome temporarily unseating Internet Explorer for a single day. "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," Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, wrote at the time. "At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE." 

It now appears Chrome holds the definitive lead. And what a quick trip to the top its been: As Daniel Ionescu of PC World notes, exactly a year ago, Internet Explorer dominated the browser market, with a hefty 43 percent share, while Chrome counted just 19. So what's driving the success of the Google browser? Dissatisfaction with Internet Explorer, for one. The streamlined, stripped-down Chrome interface, for another. 

This blogger has used Chrome for two years now, and finds it incredibly hard to go back to other types of browsers – Chrome just feels snappier, more accessible, and better organized. Over at CNN, John D. Sutter highlights a third reason for Chrome's ascendence: Its good working relationship with other Google products, which millions of us rely on every day. 

"Some of the browser's features enhance other Google products, and the Chrome Web store is home to an increasingly robust catalog of add-ons that improve the browser's functionality," Sutter writes. "Google also has tried to position the browser as the basis for the operating system of the future," he adds. Chrome user? Drop us a line in the comments section. 

And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut

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