IE makes a comeback as rivals falter.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser has started to regain its share of the browser market at the expense of rival browsers, particularly Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome.
According to the data from Net Applications, IE has made a comeback this year, increasing its market share by two percent from December 2011 to March 2012 to 53.8 percent.
Previously the browser had been decreasing in popularity, losing more than five percent of its users between May and December last year.
Usage of Firefox has generally declined since May 2011 to this March, falling roughly two percent to 20.6 percent of the market.
Meanwhile, while Chrome increased its user base between May and December last year by nearly six percent. In recent months it has been losing share and now sits at 18.6 percent of the market.
Apple's Safari browser had slowly increased its market share since May last year to as high as 5.2 percent, although it appeared to take a popularity hit in December and January and has now fallen to 5.1 percent in March.
While the figures are good news for Microsoft, the firm is still under threat in the market with Chrome passing IE usage on a single day during March, for the first time in its history, according to StatCounter.
The company's research showed that the spike was largely due to heavy usage in India, Russia and Brazil and said that it was indicative of a wider trend as Chrome usage often increases over weekends.
The phenomenon was taken by analysts as a sign that consumers commonly use IE for work purposes during the week and Chrome for home browsing.
This article was originally published on V3.
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Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site LocalGov.tv. Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.
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