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01 Jun 12 Chrome or IE? Who Won the May Browser Wars?

Web browsers continued to play a game of thrones last month, but which one took the Internet crown?

Who is king seems up for debate: StatCounter placed Google Chrome at the top of the heap in May, the first time the browser dominated for a full calendar month. Net Applications, however, still had IE as the top browser, followed by Firefox and Chrome.

For May, StatCounter’s data showed more than 15 billion Internet page views — Chrome took 32.43 percent of the worldwide market, compared to 32.12 percent for IE, and 25.55 percent for Firefox.

But Chrome is ringing in June with a barely there global edge on IE, according to StatCounter, which reported that a 0.6 percent switch from IE to Firefox helped push Chrome into first place. May’s Chrome update to the new, stable version of the Google browser is likely a contributing factor, as well.

Net Applications, meanwhile, showed Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome neck-and-neck, separated for second and third places, respectively, by 0.13 percent. IE still reigned supreme at 54.05 percent global market share, according to the site.

In the U.S., Net Applications calculated the Microsoft browser at 56.13 percent for May, while Firefox and Chrome lagged behind with 16.78 percent and 14.48 percent, respectively.

The fight between stat counters doesn’t mean much to Google, though.

During the D10 expo, Chrome’s senior vice president, Sundar Pichai, said that the browser grew about 300 percent last year, with “hundreds of millions of active users,” according to Engadget.

“We have many ways of looking at it,” he said. “You can argue about the data, but in general I think we have gained substantial mindshare since we’ve launched the product.”

For more, see PCMag’s full reviews of IE9 (slideshow below), Chrome 18, and Firefox 12.

For more from Stephanie, follow her on Twitter @smlotPCMag.

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