Whether or not any of us realized it at the time, the first month of 2011 was an exciting one when it came to Microsoft, Google, and the ongoing browser wars. New stats from Net Applications indicate that some big changes took place, with Chrome gaining ground and Internet Explorer taking a hit.
Chrome's success story is the more straightforward development. Net Applications found that, between December and January, its market share increased from 9.98 percent to 10.70 percent, which obviously puts Chrome well past the 10.0 percent milestone and is a very impressive gain.
Meanwhile, Internet Explorer's market share fell from 57.08 percent to 56.00 percent, and Microsoft employees can hardly be cheering about that. The drop represents the continuation of a long, slow slide.
On the other hand, IE8 and the beta version of IE9 are catching on to some degree (even as people abandon IE6 in droves), which Roger Capriotti, Director of Internet Explorer Product Marketing at Microsoft, thought worthy of a celebratory blog post.
As for how the other browsers performed, Firefox's market share slipped from 22.81 percent to 22.75 percent, Safari's market share rose from 5.89 percent to 6.30 percent, and Opera's market share grew from 2.23 percent to 2.28 percent on a month-over-month basis.
We'll be sure to check in again soon if the February data turns out to be similarly exciting.