March 22, 2012: Google Chrome takes lead from Internet Explorer
StatCounter, which compiled the figures, said Chrome took the lead on Sunday, when office workers were using their own computers instead of ones controlled by corporate IT departments. Google introduced its browser only three years ago, touting it as a faster alternative to established rivals.
"While it is only one day, this is a milestone," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter's chief executive.
"At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE."
On March 18, Chrome was used for 32.7 percent of all browsing, while Internet Explorer had 32.5 percent share, according to StatCounter. When people returned to their offices on Monday, the Microsoft's share recovered to 35 percent and Chrome's share slipped to 30 percent.
In December, according to the same figures, Chrome relegated Firefox from second to third position worldwide for the long term. Some have questioned whether Google can also overturn Internet Explorer because of Microsoft's dominance of corporate desktops.
"Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable," Cullen said.
On a monthly basis, Chrome's market share has surged to 31 percent so far in March from 17 percent a year ago, while Explorer has slipped to 35 percent from 45 percent a year earlier.
StatCounter data is collected from a sample of more than 15 billion page views on more than three million websites.