1.8 Billion Internet Users by 2012, China to Overtake US Internet Use by 2011

By 2012, 1.8 billion people will be using the internet, according to JupiterResearch. That will be a 44% increase from 2007. China, India, Russia and Brazil will see the highest growth rates. China will overtake the U.S. in internet use by 2011.

"Even though the emerging economies will have lower online penetration rates compared to the developed countries, JupiterResearch believes that they will ramp up the learning curve in adopting sophisticated online activities compared to the developing countries," explained Vikram Sehgal, Research Director and lead author of the report for JupiterResearch.

Recent moves in the search industry seem to echo those projections. Yahoo's reorganization is mostly focused on a global strategy, likely building on their success in Asia. Last November, Yahoo added 9 countries to its mobile search, and recently expanded partnerships in the Asia/Pacific region. Yahoo has also invested heavily in India. They have a research lab in Bangalore and recently began testing "Glue Pages," a different way to view search results.

Meanwhile, Yandex, the leading Russian language search engine, has hired a Yahoo exec away to lead their San Fran-based operations.

Not to be outdone, Microsoft and Google have their eye on the big enchilada by staffing up in China, a market that is currently dominated by Baidu.