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Firefox Cruises Past Microsoft Browsers but Chrome Still Dominates

The Firefox Web browser has overtaken both of Microsoft’s browsers put together when it comes to market share, according to a new report. That’s the good news for Mozilla, which develops Firefox. The bad news is that Google’s Chrome browser is leaving both Mozilla and Microsoft in the dust.

According to the latest figures from Statcounter, 60.5 percent of worldwide users opted for Chrome as their browser of choice in April, compared with 15.6 percent who selected Firefox, 15.5 percent who chose Internet Explorer or Edge, and 8.4 percent who opted for Safari or other browsers. April marked the first time that Firefox beat out Internet Explorer.

Spiking in North America

Meanwhile, in the North American market, use of Chrome spiked to 53.7 percent, up from 41.4 percent a year ago. Internet Explorer is a distant second in North American usage at 20.5 percent, with Firefox at 13 percent, Safari at 7.5 percent, and Edge claiming 3.3 percent of users — just ahead of all the other browsers combined.

Among other things, the new worldwide and North American market figures show that Microsoft’s efforts to get Windows users to migrate to its new Edge browser have been met with a lukewarm response. It even appears that users of Windows 10, the most recent Microsoft operating system that was designed specifically to work with Edge, would rather not use it.

Experts point out that there are various reasons why Edge has failed to catch on. For one thing, when users upgrade to Windows 10 from older versions of Microsoft’s operating system, previously installed applications stay put. That means users can stay with the same browsers they have been using and not deploy Edge. Also, unlike most Web browsers, Edge can’t run add-ons or plug-ins that are designed to extend its functionality.

StatCounter assembled the browser usage data after tracking visits to 3 million Web sites, which combined account for about 15 billion page views per month.

Mobile Figures Favor Samsung

However, desktop and laptop browser statistics are one thing, and mobile figures are another. In that segment, while Chrome reached a high-water mark of 35.3 percent in January, it has dropped to 32.5 percent since then, in part because of the introduction of a new Android browser from Samsung Electronics.

In just that three-month period, the Samsung Internet browser has captured 5.1 percent of the mobile market, more than three times the segment held by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Mobile.

Safari for iOS, Apple’s mobile browser, has also done much better than its desktop counterpart. Safari for iOS has held steady at 23 percent of users for several months, while the regular Android browser sank to 9.1 percent in April from almost 18 percent percent a year earlier, according to Statcounter’s figures.

Gaining ground in the mobile realm is UC Browser, an Android app developed in China that has risen to 17.8 percent worldwide usage from less than 12 percent a year ago.

Image Credits: Icons via Microsoft, Mozilla, Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple and Opera.

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