European restrictions on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser have resulted in its share of the global market falling below 50% for the first time in its history.
The browser’s share dipped to 49.87% in September from over 60% a year ago, after Microsoft began offering European users a choice of web browsers in March, research firm StatCounter says.
Firefox took second place in September with a global share of 31.5%, while Google’s Chrome browser grew its share from 3.69% in September 2009 to 11.54% this year.
“This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars. Just two years ago, IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%,” StatCounter chief Aodhan Cullen said.
Cullen believes Microsoft’s deal with the EU is the reason for the dip, noting that Internet Explorer’s European share fell from 46.44% in September 2009 to 40.26% this year, but remains above 50% in the US market.