Dubai: Google's Chrome has dethroned Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) to become the world's top browser for the first time in May.

According to independent website analytics company StatCounter, Chrome took 32.43 per cent of the worldwide market compared to 32.12 per cent for IE and 25.55 per cent for Firefox.

Although Chrome had edged out IE earlier for shorter periods, the former has been trending up for some time.

Internet Explorer is still the top browser in many regions, including North America, US, China, Australia, Iran and Gulf countries but Chrome is extremely popular in India, Russia, Brazil and South America.

In the UAE, IE occupies 40.58 per cent market share while Chrome has 34.32 per cent.

The desktop browser space is becoming increasingly competitive as Google's Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox continue to eat away market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Yahoo has also entered the fray with its own browser, Axis.

“IE is still king in most other regions as it's the default web browser for Windows machines, which still constitute about 90 per cent of the world's computers,” Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the US-based Enderle Group, said.

The browser trends are expected to continue at least until the general release of Internet Explorer 10 later this year. IE10 is tied to the launch of Windows 8, and it may introduce a wild card into the browser game.

“While attention has recently been focused on the battle between Chrome and IE, Mozilla's Firefox with its loyal membership base should not be underestimated,” Aodhan Cullen, CEO of  StatCounter, said.

He said Chrome has gone from zero to market leader globally in less than four years but Microsoft's new version (IE9) is performing well.

Enderle said both Google and Microsoft have been marketing their browsers very heavily and this has been a two browser market going back to Netscape.

“It is going to be a daunting task for Firefox to get back in the game. Firefox was the up-and-comer but the user base is moving to Google Chrome. So, Firefox has been swimming upstream.”