Google Chrome now third most popular browser

Google's Chrome web browser has overtaken Apple's Safari to become the third most popular web browser, according to new research.

The data, from Net Applications, puts Chrome in third place with 4.63% of the market, ahead of safari with 4.46%.

Google's browser, which launched just over a year ago, still has a lot of ground to make up to match market leaders Microsoft's Internet Explorer (63%) and Mozilla's Firefox (25%).

Chrome's 0.7 percent jump from November to December can partly be attributed to the beta launch versions of the Chrome Web browser for Mac OS X and Linux.

Google also gave Windows users more reason to switch to Chrome with the release of expanded features and functionality for the Windows version of Chrome.

Since January of 2009, Internet Explorer's market share has dropped just over seven percent. That seven percent has been snapped up primarily by Firefox and Chrome, with Chrome making the biggest jump of them all.

Chrome has increased over three percent since January, more than tripling its share of the Web browser market in under a year.

Top 5 browsers by market share, January 2009

1. Internet Explorer 62.69%

2. Firefox 24.61%

3. Chrome 4.63%

4. Safari 4.46%

5. Opera 2.40%

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