The Race between the Browsers - IE, Firefox and Google Chrome

In what has been aptly termed as browser wars, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox are battling it out for market supremacy in the world of web browser space. There is a slew of browsers available in the marketplace today and the market wars have now seen the top 3 contenders emerging - namely, Chrome, IE and Firefox.

A Bit of Information on These Three Browsers
IE or Internet Explorer comes from the house of Microsoft, and made its debut in this space in 1995. Since 1999, IE has attained massive leadership status in this space. In the years 2002 and 2003, it garnered 95 percent usage share. At the beginning of 2012, IE saw a market share of 34.27 percent.

Firefox comes from Mozilla Corporation, and is a free and open source web browser. It was released initially in 2004 and has grown to encompass around 25 percent of the market share in terms of web browser usage by March 2012.

Chrome by Google came into being in 2008 and is a freeware web browser that has become the holder of around 25 percent of global web browser usage.

The Race Between the Browsers
Microsoft drubbed Netscape in web browser space a few years ago which prompted Netscape to not only make their browser code into an open source entity, but also to entrust the same to Mozilla Foundation, which released Mozilla Firefox in 2004 for the first time. It has grown in popularity consistently till the year 2010.

Microsoft has been releasing newer versions of the IE consistently. In 2006, the company released IE 7, which had several new features, like tabbed browsing and a phishing filter. In 2008, Mozilla came out with Firefox 3.0 with performance features and enhanced privacy features as well.

Google joined the fray in 2008. The Chrome browser for Microsoft Windows was first released into the market in December that year and by October next year, Google had announced an almost 4 percent market share. Microsoft had launched a pre-emptive strike in March of 2009 with IE 8 and its new feature called accelerators. During the time when IE 8 was going about replacing IE 7, Firefox stuck a paw into the space and garnered market share.

According to StatCounter, Firefox 3.5 became the most popular browser in late 2009 and early 2012, overtaking even IE 7 and IE 8 and this was a huge deal indeed.

In January 2012, came the news that Google Chrome 15 seems to have pipped IE 8 to get 23.6 percent of market share compared to IE 8's 23.5 percent. This is as per StatCounter, which is a web analytics firm. Firefox holds the third place with around 25 percent of the browser space.

Another firm, Net Applications, however, puts IE at the top of the shack with a 52 percent market share, Firefox coming in second at 22 percent and Chrome bringing up third place with 19 percent share.

Each of them has a few strong points - Chrome is known to be fast; IE comes pre-installed on Windows machines; and Firefox finds popularity among the more technically oriented populace. The race will see shifting positions among these three top browsers.

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