Google Chrome launched on September 2, 2008. Three years later, it beats Mozilla’s Firefox and is after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the most commonly used web browser globally. Source: Global Statcounter, November 2011. Click for larger.

According to November 2011 browser usage data collected by Global StatCounter, a mobile analytics service tracking three million web sites, Google’s Chrome browser has finally surpassed Mozilla’s Firefox on the global scene. Chrome also overtook Firefox in the United Kingdom back in July, but Mozilla’s software retained its lead over Google in the United States as of November 2011. Based on aggregate data collected on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month (four billion from the United States), Chrome had a global web browsing share of 25.69 percent in November 2011 versus Firefox’s 25.23 percent.

Compare this to November 2009 when Chrome had just 4.66 percent share. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still maintains a strong lead with 40.63 percent global share. You could argue that such an important milestone for Chrome has been a long time coming, but you have to consider that Chrome is just three years old while Firefox launched a little over seven years ago.

The achievement was obviously a reason enough to justify issuing a press release, with Statcounter CEO Aodhan Cullen commenting:

We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally. Our stats measure actual browser usage, not downloads, so while Chrome has been highly effective in ensuring downloads our stats show that people are actually using it to access the web also.

The weird thing is, Internet Explorer got a bump, growing its web browsing share marginally by 0.02 percentage points globally last month. In the United States, Microsoft’s browser enjoys 50.66 percent share, up annually and sequentially over 50.24 and 46.11 percent, respectively. Firefox is second with 20.09 percent share, down annually and sequentially from 26.75 and 22.47 percent share, respectively. Chrome grew year over year from 10.89 percent to 17.3 percent share, but lost ground compared to October’s 18.52 percent share. In the United Kingdom, Internet Explorer leads with 42.82 percent, Chrome is #2 with 24.82 percent and Firefox trails behind with 20.56 percent share. Your U.S. and U.K. charts are right after the break.

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