Google Chrome has officially overtaken Internet Explorer to become the world’s most used web browser.

The news finally ends Microsoft’s default Windows browser’s almost two-decade long dominance as the leading internet browser.

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Haven’t I heard this one before?

Probably. Over the last few years, quite a few tech analytics firms have crowned Chrome as the market leader. April however has been the first time that everyone is in agreement that Microsoft is no longer number 1.

The news was released by Netmarketshare, another statistics firm, that reported that Chrome is now responsible for 41.7% of the total number of daily desktop users.  Internet Explorer was reported to have dropped to 41.3%.

Are Microsoft upset?

Probably not.  In real terms, the news is something of a paper tiger. Microsoft pulled support for several older versions of Internet explorer back in January, and is now concentrating its browser offering through Windows 10, and its new default browser, Edge.

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A brief history of IE

Before Internet Explorer, the Empire, and the dark times, the most popular browser was Netscape. But crucially, Internet Explorer quickly gained market share when it started coming bundled with Windows Operating systems. It became the most popular choice in 1998, and stayed that way, up until now.

But Internet Explorer has been losing ground to its rivals for several years, with many users deriding it for being inferior to competitors such as Chrome, Firefox, and even Apple’s Safari. Firefox and Chrome which were released in 2002 and 2008 respectively, were seen as fresher, faster, easier to use, and importantly used a search engine called ‘Google,’ (Whatever that was) that actually showed search results that were useful to users.

Some more background

Internet Explorer was once so dominant in its field that in 2009, Microsoft settled a European Union complaint about its monopoly of the browser market by offering consumers a choice of browser.