As of the end of April, Chrome was used by 6.73% of the people visiting the 40,000 Web sites monitored by NetApplications for its customers. The number marked an increase 0.6% from March.
Chrome's increase was nearly equal to Internet Explorer's drop in usage share, which fell 0.7% month-to-month to 59.95%. It was the first time NetApplications had shown IE falling below 60%.
Chrome's usage share has grown steadily since its release in December 2008, according to NetApplications. IE, on the other hand, has been losing share for years, mostly because of security problems and a failure to keep up with the competition.
However, Microsoft is not ready to give up the browser battle. The company last month released a preview of Internet Explorer 9 at the MIX10 conference in Las Vegas.
At the time, Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer at Microsoft, characterized IE9 as "the first browser to take standard Web patterns that developers use and run them better on modern PCs through Windows."
Among the many new elements supported in IE9 includes HTML5, the evolving next-generation standard for Web pages, including CSS3, Scalable Vector Graphics, XHTML parsing, and tags for H.264/MPEG4 and MP3/AAC codecs. The browser also includes support for hardware acceleration to speed up the rendering of graphics and text.
In the latest NetApplications usage share, Mozilla's Firefox and Apple's Safari each saw a gain of 0.07%, rising to 24.59% and 4.72%, respectively. Opera fell by an equal amount to 2.30%.