Google’s Chrome edges Microsoft’s IE as top browser

NEW YORK—Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is no longer king of the browser hill.

That distinction belongs instead to Google’s Chrome, which according to NetMarketShare.com (known also as Net Applications.com), registered a collective desktop market share for all versions of the browser of 41.67% in April, nipping IE, which had a 41.37% share. The market share for Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer’s successor, is included in the tally.

Mozilla Firefox (9.76%), Apple Safari (4.91%) and Opera (1.89%) round out the top five. On a version-by-version basis, NetMarketShare reports that Chrome 49 was the leader in April with a 21.79% share, besting runner-up IE 11 at 19.88%.

Microsoft pretty much kicked the venerable Internet Explorer to the curb when it chose a brand new Web browser, Microsoft Edge, for Windows 10. Then this past January, Microsoft announced it was ending technical support and security updates for all versions of IE except the current version IE 11.

A rival tracker company, StatCounter, which measures usage differently than NetMarketShare, already had Chrome in the lead.

Internet Explorer has been dominant browser space since the latter stages of the20th Century when it toppled Netscape, leading to a famous antitrust case that Microsoft and the U.S. Dept. of Justice ultimately settled.

As recently as June 2015, IE had nearly double the share of Chrome (54.00% versus 27.23%). But IE has been on the decline ever since, largely to Chrome’s benefit. Firefox has also fallen.

These days, Microsoft has turned its attention to Edge. In a blog post just last week, the company announced that on Windows 10, Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from a Cortana search box.