The top five web browsers in the world, as of January 2010, are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera.
Internet Explorer leads browser use with 55.26 percent of the global market and 52.5 percent of the U.S. market, according to StatCounter GlobalStats data.
Internet Explorer’s dominance may be due to the fact that this browser ships with all Windows computers, making it the de facto default for the vast majority of PCs worldwide. Safari, which ships with all Apple computers, enjoys a similar advantage that is particularly evident in the U.S., where Apple computers may be more popular. But Apple computers still do not represent a large percentage of the PC market and, as such, Apple Safari has a 3.75 percent share of the global browser market and a 9.12 percent share of the U.S. browser market, according to StatCounter GlobalStats.
Mozilla Firefox, which is both free and open source, is not far behind Internet Explorer with 31.64 percent of the global market and 30.33 percent of the U.S. market. Firefox has also enjoyed rapid growth, considering that it was first launched just six years ago.
Google Chrome has 6.04 percent of the global market share and 5.89 percent of the U.S. market share. Opera, which was the first browser to introduce tabs and the first browser to offer a speed dial function, has 2 percent of the global market share and .68 percent of the U.S. market.
The statistics in this “Chart of the Week” were taken from StatCounter GlobalStats. StatCounter calculates browser market share statistics by monitoring some 3 million websites. Each time someone visits one of the sites the firm monitors that visitors browser is identified and counted.