Google’s Chrome Web browser continued its upward march through May, cracking the 7 percent mark after racking up 6.7 percent share through April.
Chrome’s gain came at the expense of several others. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser continued to fall, hitting 59.7 percent after falling below 60 percent through April.
Mozilla Firefox stood at 24.35 percent, down from 24.59 percent. Apple’s Safari browser nudged up a tad to 4.77 percent from 4.72 percent for May.
While still the market giant, IE’s strength is ebbing and won’t likely get above 60 percent again.
Firefox was once the favorite to supplant IE, but its growth has clearly been stymied by the rise of Chrome, with people curious about the new browser.
Safari hangs around as the browser for Macs and should get traction from the iPad, which has sold more than 2 million units in two months. Chrome is where the real browser action appears to be simmering.
Chrome launched in September 2008, but it wasn’t until the latter half of 2009 that the browser got its legs under it.
The browser held only 1.6 market share through March 2009, toiling its way to 2 percent in May last year and 3.2 percent in September, before jumping to 4.6 percent in December.
Chrome began seeing great pickup after Dec. 8, when Google launched beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux. Chrome notched 5.2 percent of the market through January and 5.6 percent through February before hitting the 6.1 percent figure last month.
Google just released Chrome 5.0 in stable builds for Windows, Linux and Mac. This new version is much faster than previous versions and sports HTML5-based geolocation APIs and other features.
If Chrome grows a full percentage point every two months, it will crack 10 percent market share by Dec. 1, solid growth for a browser that launched in September 2008.
There is no reason to think Chrome can’t crack double digits this year. Google is more aggressively advertising the browser on Websites such as ESPN.com and the New York Times.
Moreover, Chrome could see a boost in growth toward the end of the year when it appears as the access point for netbooks running the Chrome Operating System. Chrome will sit atop Chrome OS, allowing users to access Web applications.