Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) last month lost the No. 1 position to Google's Chrome, marking a major milestone not only in IE's 21-year lifespan, but a spectacular changing of the desktop computer browser guard.
Based on U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, IE and Edge -- which the company chucked into a single bucket labeled "IE" -- dropped 2 percentage points in April, the fifth straight month of a loss greater than a point, and the 16th of any size -- to finish at 41.4% of the overall worldwide browser user share. Meanwhile, Chrome increased 2.6 percentage points to take a narrow lead with 41.7%.
Mozilla's Firefox also fell eight-tenths of a percentage point to below 10% -- 9.8%, to be exact.
Apple's Safari and Opera Software's Opera were flat or up slightly last month, finishing April at 4.9% and 1.9%, respectively.
By pushing customers to upgrade to a newer version of IE - a move Microsoft made in August 2014, when it told most customers to migrate to IE11 if they wanted to continue receiving security patches -- the Redmond, Wash. company triggered a catastrophic decline in IE's user share. Since the mandate's announcement, IE has lost 17.1 percentage points of user share, representing a 29% decline from its August 2014 position. A contraction of that size in that brief a period was unprecedented in browsers.