Google Chrome Approaches 11% as Firefox Falls

Google's Chrome browser reaches 10.9 percent, while Mozilla Firefox dipped 1 percentage point to 21.7 percent through February, according to Net Applications.

Google's Chrome Web browser nudged up to 10.9 percent through February, showing just a touch of growth from January when it hit 10.7 percent market share, according to Net Applications.

Microsoft Internet Explorer rallied, growing from 56 percent through January to 56.8 percent in February, the market researcher reported March 1.

Microsoft noted in a blog post that IE9, the company's freshest browser iteration, reached 0.66 percent market share across all Windows operating systems, with over 2 percent share on the Windows 7 platform.

Moreover, the browser has been downloaded more than 36 million times since its September 2010 launch, Microsoft said in a blog post.

Apple's Safari also grew a touch, to 6.4 percent from 6 percent for the month.

Chrome, IE and Safari appeared to gouge Mozilla Firefox, which dipped an entire percentage point, from 22.8 percent in January to 21.7 percent this month.

While Chrome's growth to almost 11 percent market share since its inception in September 2008 would normally be the key story line here, Firefox's fall takes that prize.

It's unclear why Firefox has dropped. Mozilla has been working feverishly to bring Firefox 4 to market, releasing new beta versions of the build every few weeks across desktop and mobile platforms.

Firefox 4 revs startup time, page loading, and Web applications and games. Mozilla's Kraken performance benchmark shows it to be more than three times faster than the current Firefox 3.6.13 build.

Whatever the reason for Firefox's fall, it's clear Chrome, which Google is updating with a new stable release every few weeks, and IE9, which has won kudos from browser users worldwide, have been the hot browser builds.