It is a big year for Google’s Chrome, as the browser has become the world’s most popular HTML5 browser, as it is on track to replace IE8 as the most popular single browser version, as it is shooting to exceed Firefox market share in November and as it will pass IE in market share in at least one continent: For the first time, Chrome has exceeded IE market share in South America last weekend.
South America is, by a great margin, Chrome’s strongest global region. On four consecutive days last week, Chrome replaced IE as the dominating browser in that region, with market shares ranging from 37.36% to 39.91%, according to preliminary data published by StatCounter. It was only the second time in more than 14 years that IE had lost the market leadership to a rival browser on an entire continent in a non-war environment. Firefox previously surpasses IE in Europe and still holds a big lead in Germany. Chrome is especially strong in Argentina with nearly 43% market share, Chile with 50% share, Uruguay with 44%, Venezuela with 37%, and Colombia with 47%.
According to Internet World Stats, South America has about 162 million Internet users, or 33.4% of all users in North, Central, South America and the Carribean. 50% of all Internet users in South America are in Brazil, 16% in Argentina and 14% in Colombia.
Microsoft has been struggling to maintain IE market share and has largely focused on growing its IE9 user base on Windows 7 to prepare for a major application transition when Windows 8 is introduced. However, while Microsoft almost appeared to have abandoned IE8, IE7 and IE6 users, as well as those who run their browsers on Windows Vista and Windows XP, the company recently launched a new marketing campaign that targets all browser users. As Microsoft did last year, the company may be able to stabilize IE market share.
Google recently released a free PC remote control application, which carries tremendous value for the Chrome ecosystem and is likely to help Google gain market share. Mozilla appears to have stabilized Firefox market share losses and is much stronger than it was just a few months ago. If the current trend holds up, then we predict that Chrome will match Firefox market share in November, and it will surpass IE market share on the basis of a monthly average in that month as well. Firefox will end 2011 with about 26% market share, Chrome with 27% and IE with about 38%.
Chrome has also replaced Firefox as the second most popular browser in Asia this month.
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