In our latest installment of the browser wars, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) has started to regain its share of the browser market at the expense of rival browsers, particularly Mozilla's Firefox and Google Chrome.
IE has made a comeback this year, increasing its market share by 2 percent from December 2011 to March 2012 to 53.83 percent, according to the data from Net Applications. This follows a period of decreasing popularity between May and December last year for the browser, during which it lost more than 5 percent of its users.
Firefox usage has generally declined since May 2011 to this March, falling roughly 2 percent to 20.55 percent of the market.
Meanwhile, Google Chrome increased its user base between May and December last year by nearly 6 percent, but in recent months it has been losing users. Chrome now sits at 18.57 percent of the market.
Apple's Safari browser had slowly increased its market share since May last year to as high as 5.24 percent, although it appeared to take a popularity hit in December and January and has now fallen to 5.07 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, indicating a wider trend of increased Chrome usage 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.