Chrome and Safari continued to chip away at Internet Explorer's usage share last month, while Firefox remained stalled for the fourth straight month, a Web statistics firm said today.
Meanwhile, Microsoft used the same data from California-based Net Applications to tout the success of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) on Windows 7, where the new browser is now the second-most-popular behind the 15-month-old IE8.
Total IE share fell by six-tenths of a percentage point in June -- the fourth consecutive month that Microsoft's browser slid by that amount or more -- to end at 53.7%, a new low for the browser. The drop was less than the previous three months, when IE's decay accelerated, and more in line with the average decline over the last 12 months.
At its current pace, IE could slip under the 50% bar before the end of this year, ending the majority Microsoft has enjoyed for more than a decade.
Mozilla's Firefox remained flat last month at 21.7%, and Opera Software's Opera fell three-tenths of a percentage point -- its largest decline in nearly four years -- to end June at 1.7%.
Last month's winners were again Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome, the only two browsers to consistently boost their usage share during the last year.
Safari climbed by two-tenths of a point to 7.5%, a record for the browser bundled with all Macs, iPhones and iPads, while Chrome increased by six-tenths of a percentage point to end June at 13.1%.
Chrome is on pace to break 15% by October, just a little over three years after Google introduced the browser.
Although IE9's introduction in mid-March has not stemmed Microsoft share bleeding, the new browser has made significant inroads on Windows 7, Microsoft said today. "IE9 has now become the most popular modern browser on Windows 7 in the U.S.," maintained Roger Capriotti, the head of IE marketing at Microsoft.
According to Net Applications, IE9 accounted for 19.6% of all browsers on U.S. computers running Windows 7, and for 15.6% of all Windows 7 machines globally.
Microsoft has repeatedly touted IE9 as its first "modern" browser, meaning it supports HTML5 and other new Web standards.
But IE9 still lags behind IE8 on Windows 7, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Globally, the older browser owns a 47.9% share on Windows 7, more than three times that of IE9.