London: Web browser Google Chrome, which emerged in mid-2008, has hit Internet Explorer hard and stalled the rise of Mozilla Firefox.
Internet Explorer now accounts for less than 50 percent of worldwide web browser usage, a fall from its peak of 88 percent in 2003.
The fall makes the latest version, Internet Explorer 9, all the more important for the company.
The rise of Chrome has also affected Mozilla Firefox - the second most popular desktop web browser - which has stayed at 30 percent market share since May last year.
Web browsers are big business. Mozilla has revealed that in 2008 it pulled in $79 million of revenue from advertisements that pop up when one uses the Google, Yahoo or eBay search box or download Google`s toolbar, the Telegraph reported.
Google`s investment in Chrome is certainly motivated by this revenue stream. Why should it pay out for the referrals when it can serve them up for free within Chrome?
Mozilla`s long-term advertising deal with Google ends in 2011. No surprise then that Mozilla is reaching out to other ad partners: Microsoft announced last week that the new version of Firefox 4 will include an option for searching via Bing.
Mobile web development is an underappreciated area, but one which will become more and more important over the next decade.
The share of traffic from mobile browsers has grown from 0.6 percent at the start of 2009, to 3.5 percent today. That number is nearly five percent in the US and Britain.