It's been a mini-roller coaster ride for Google's Chrome
browser, which flirted with surpassing the 20 percent market share threshold around this time two years ago. Fast forward to today and Chrome has finally managed to leap over the hurdle, landing at 20.37 percent to close out the month of July, according to the latest data from Net Applications.
That's enough to maintain a second place finish ahead of Mozilla's Firefox
browser, which has been on a slow and steady decline for more than a year. The last time Firefox enjoyed a 20 percent share of the market was in May of 2013 -- it now sits at 15.08 percent, down from 15.54 percent in June and 16.81 percent in May.
Source: Net Applications
The race for second place is a distant one behind first place finisher, Internet Explorer
. Microsoft's browser has the benefit of being bundled with Windows, and as such, it's still dominating the market based on the way Net Applications does its record keeping. IE dipped a bit in July to claim a 58.01 percent share of the desktop browser market, down slightly from 58.38 percent in June, but up a couple of percentage points from this time a year ago.
Why does any of this matter when the most popular browsers are free to download and use? One reason is search revenue. Mozilla's deal with Google to feature the company's search engine as the default option will expire in November. These deals are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and for Mozilla, they comprise the vast majority of the company's revenue -- nearly 90 percent at last count.
Things don't look too much better for Firefox over at StatCounter, which has the browser finishing in third place with a 17.52 percent share. What's interesting, however, is that StatCounter's method of tracking usage has Chrome way out in front with a 45.28 percent share of the market, well ahead of Internet Explorer at 21.38 percent.
Which browser do you use these days?