Google Chrome Hits 10.7%, Apple Safari Tops 6%

Google's Chrome Web browser topped 10.7 percent market share through January, up from 10 percent through December 2010. Safari grew as well, while IE 9 is performing better.

Google's Chrome Web browser continued to grow through the first month of 2011, reaching 10.7 percent market share through January, up from 10 percent through December 2010.

Researcher Net Applications also noted that Apple's Safari rose to 6.3 percent from 5.9 percent over the same period. This is perhaps indicative of record sales the computer maker posted for its iPad tablet and Mac computers for the holiday quarter, which ended Dec. 31.

Mozilla's Firefox lost a smidgen of share, dipping from 22.81 percent to 22.75 percent for the month. Microsoft's Internet Explorer meanwhile fell from 57 percent to 56 percent, largely from phasing out of the dated IE 6.

However, Net Applications also noted IE 8 gained 1.15 percent market share month to month and that IE 9's beta has been downloaded 23 million times, to reach 0.5 percent usage share worldwide.

Moreover, IE9 already holds a 1.83 percent share on the Windows 7 OS, Microsoft proudly noted on a corporate blog.

Chrome's growth continued to be the big story in the first month of 2011, as it's the only browser that appears to be regularly gaining market share.

The browser finished 2010 just shy of the 10 percent mark, notching 9.98 percent of browser market share through December in a year where it started at 5.2 percent.

Chrome has grown considerably since its September 2008 launch without the benefit of an official platform on which to run. Google aims to get Chrome on notebooks running its new Chrome OS from Samsung, Acer and others by mid-2011.

Chrome OS is the search engine's Web-based or cloud OS and the base platform for the Chrome browser.

Google had hoped to get Chrome OS machines to the public for the 2010 holiday season. While the company failed in this regard, it did roll out the Cr-48 test notebook Dec. 7.

Google reportedly ordered 60,000 Cr-48s for consumers and business users to test, which could have helped Chrome's recent growth spurt.