Chrome beats IE on any given Sunday

Across the globe, more users are firing up Chrome instead of Internet Explorer when they aren't at work

Over the past three weeks, Google Chrome has beaten out Internet Explorer as the No. 1 browser in the world -- but only on Sundays. Monday through Saturday, IE has remained the browser with the highest worldwide market share, although its lead is slipping.

That bit of trivia, which comes via StatCounter, may not bode well for Microsoft, though the company claims StatCounter's data is flawed. It suggests that users are increasingly turning to Chrome on their home machines, even if they're still required to use IE on their work machines during the week. If we've learned anything from the consumerization-of-IT trend, it's that users do hold some sway in getting their preferred technologies adopted at the office.

Desktop browser market share

Chrome's first moment of top-spot glory took place on Sunday, March 18: It held 32.71 percent of the browser market share that day, compared to IE's 32.5 percent share, according to StatCounter. The following Sunday, Chrome controlled 33.02 percent of the browser market, whereas IE held 32.13 percent. Finally, Chrome secured 32.52 percent of worldwide browser market share on April 1 (no foolin'); IE's share was 32.48.

In general, going by StatCounter's numbers, Chrome has consistently seen its popularity spike on weekends over the past five weeks, while IE usage has dropped. Monday through Friday, Chrome has had an average worldwide market share of 30.16 percent; in that same period, IE's weekday's market share has averaged 35.55 percent. On the weekends, however, Chrome's average market share has increased to 32.45 percent, whereas IE's has dropped to 32.97 percent.

"The trend toward 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," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen after Chrome's first Sunday win.

Geographically speaking, Chrome has been enjoying momentum in regions around the globe, often at IE's expense. Perhaps most notable, in Asia, Chrome has supplanted IE as the top browser since the start of 2012, up from 32.82 percent market share to 36.52 percent. IE's share fell from 38.4 percent to 34.2 percent.

In North America, meanwhile, IE's market share at the beginning of the year was 44.96 percent. At last week's end, that figure was down to 41.26 percent. In that same time period, Chrome's share rose from 20.97 percent to 23.68 percent; Firefox's inched up from 20.61 percent to 20.95 percent.

In Europe, Internet Explorer started out the year with a market share of 31.01; at the end of last week, the number was 30.03. Chrome, meanwhile, gained ground, increasing from 26.39 to 28.51 percent. Firefox dipped from 31.62 percent to 30.62.

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