Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari posted record numbers in January while Microsoft's Internet Explorer lost ground for the sixth month running. Both Chrome and Safari passed major usage share milestones, breaking the 10% and 6% bars, respectively, said Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Net Applications.
Chrome, which has added 5.5 percentage points in the last year, gained just over seven-tenths of a point in January to end the month with 10.7% of the global browser market. Meanwhile, Safari piggybacked on a boost in Mac usage -- last month Apple's Mac OS X desktop operating system posted its largest gain since September 2009 -- to climb four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.3%.
IE lost over a point to end January with a 56% share, a new low. IE has lost six points in the past year, with only two months of gains during that time. Mozilla's Firefox remained flat in January, accounting for 22.8% of all browsers used during the month.
IE9, which launched as a public beta last September, is slated to ship this quarter. Microsoft has also issued invitations to an event next week in San Francisco, where most expect the company to announce the release candidate, or RC, build of the browser -- the last major step before work is wrapped up.
Net Applications calculates browser usage share from data acquired from the 160 million unique visitors who browse approximately 40,000 Web sites it monitors for clients.