Updated: Google's Chrome Web browser lost market share for the first time ever thanks to upticks in July for both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.
Chrome had steadily grown over the last several months, topping 7.24 percent through June, but through July the young Web browser had slipped a tad to 7.16 percent, according to Net Applications' latest statistics.
Mozilla's Firefox also continued its fall, slipping to 22.71 percent through the month from 23.81 percent in June.
Conversely, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser continued its upward climb, rising to 60.74 percent market share from 60.32 percent the previous month. Apple's Safari leapt over the 5 percent share line, up from 4.85 percent through June.
The trends, though early yet, show the incumbents are taking back some of the market share lost to the younger browser Turks.
Ryan Gavin, senior director of Internet Explorer business and marketing, attributed the IE gains to security and privacy protections in IE 8 accompanied by TV commercials touting these features.
Google, which said it has 70 million users for Chrome, took the numbers in stride. A spokesperson told eWEEK:
"Users' response to Google Chrome has been fantastic... we're happy that Chrome and other open source browser projects have continued to drive innovation and a better user experience in all browsers."
Despite the positive the shine, the news has to be somewhat unsettling to Google, whose Chrome Web browser appeared destined to crack the 10 percent mark just a few months ago.
Chrome, launched in September 2008, cracked the 7 percent mark in May after gaining several market percentage points over the last year.
While the impending launch of Chrome 6 and a faster development cycle bode well for Chrome, Microsoft's renewed ascension up the browser chart after falling below 60 percent the last few months is an ominous warning the browser incumbent is not going to let too much market share slip away.
Google is banking on a booster shot for Chrome from the launch of Chrome Operating System on netbooks from Dell, Acer, Lenovo and others this holiday season. Chrome will be the application palette for the speedy Chrome OS platform.