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Top web browsers 2020: Chrome snaps up more share, new Edge again gains ground

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Chrome’s share reached a record high in May, the fifth straight month of gains, a run the browser last enjoyed three years ago.

According to data published Monday by California metrics vendor Net Applications, Chrome’s share in May climbed six-tenths of a percentage point to 69.8%. The browser has been on a run of late, with the previous five months – January to May – putting 3.2 points on Chrome’s ledger. The only other browser to post gains during that stretch – Safari – added a mere two-tenths of a point.

To put Chrome’s position into perspective, no browser has had more than Chrome’s current share since December 2008, when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) held more than 70% even as it was trending down, under assault from Mozilla’s Firefox. (That month, Chrome, which had debuted only months before, accounted for a tiny 1.4% of all browser share.)

May’s addition changed Chrome’s 12-month forecast, which now predicts the browser will reach 70% this month (June) but will need until December to make 71%. If Chrome breaks the 70% bar, it will become only the third browser to do so, following Netscape Navigator (an ancestor of Firefox) and IE.

It’s unclear how much headroom Chrome has – it seems very unlikely that it can duplicate IE’s crushing dominance of, say, 2005, when that browser had close to a 90% share – but it almost certainly can squeeze a few more points out of the competition. IE has points to give up, not many but at least a couple, while Firefox could easily continue its ruinous slide and slough another two or three percentage points.

As Computerworld has said before, the only threat to Chrome in the near term will be Microsoft’s Edge, the Chrome clone.

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