According to Web traffic measurement firm Net Applications, October saw Microsoft losing another big chunk of desktop browser market share, with Chrome and Safari picking up the slack.
Internet Explorer continues its precipitous descent, dropping almost 1.8 percent to a 52.6 percent share of the worldwide desktop browser market. Back in June, I predicted that IE's market share would hit 50 percent by the end of the year. Looks like I was giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. If things continue at this rate, IE will fall below the 50 percent line by early December.
Chrome and Safari showed very strong growth last month: Safari grew by nearly half a percentage point, to 5.4 percent, and Chrome was up almost 1.5 percentage points, to 17.6 percent of worldwide browser market share. In relative terms, those are smoking numbers.
Firefox held steady for the fourth month in a row.
As usual, Microsoft put a happy face on the damning statistics. Roger Capriotti notes on the official Exploring IE blog that if you limit your field of vision to U.S. websites, count only people who are using Windows 7, and look only at Internet Explorer 9 -- not IE8, which ships with Windows 7 -- IE9 has jumped to a 34.9 percent market share, ahead of Chrome 14 and 15, with 14.3 percent combined, and Firefox 7, with 11.8 percent.
But if you widen your horizons a little bit and look at all websites worldwide and all operating systems, you see that IE9 has only attained 9.8 percent market share -- or just about one-third as much as Internet Explorer 8. Compare IE9's 9.8 percent market share to the 15.1 percent market share for Chrome 14 and 15 combined and to the 13.3 percent for Firefox 6 and 7 combined. Are you still impressed?
The most embarrassing statistic? Even though Microsoft has been trying hard to kill it, Internet Explorer 6 still accounts for 7.5 percent of all Web traffic worldwide.
This story, "Worldwide browser share numbers show Chrome way up," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.