SEATTLE (Reuters) - Google Inc's Chrome Web browser has grabbed more than 20 percent of global market share, while Microsoft Corp's long-time leader Internet Explorer has slipped below 50 percent, according to Internet statistics firm StatCounter.
A seven-fold increase in usage in the last 12 months is a boost for Google, which is trying to convert its dominance in Web search into operating systems and mobile software, bringing it into direct competition with Microsoft.
Google's Chrome browser, launched in December 2008, took 20.7 percent of the global market in June, according to StatCounter, up from 2.8 percent a year ago.
In the same time, it said the various versions of Internet Explorer fell to 44 percent from a 59 percent share a year ago, while Mozilla's Firefox dipped slightly to 28 percent from 30 percent.
Google's gains come as the company makes a concerted push into browser-centric, or "cloud" computing. In May, Google launched its long-awaited Chromebook, a laptop that works almost entirely on software accessed via the Internet, rather than installed on the machine. This is a direct challenge to software leaders Microsoft and Apple. Google's Chrome tops 20 percent market share - Yahoo! News