updated 12:15 pm EDT, Mon May 3, 2010
IE toppled by gains from Chrome, Safari in April
Internet Explorer has dropped below a 60 percent share of web traffic for the first time, Net Applications found in its latest study. Microsoft's browser dropped to 59.95 percent of web use in April after Google Chrome leapt half a point ahead to 6.73 percent in the same timeframe. Firefox and Safari also ate into Internet Explorer's share with small gains that put them at 24.59 percent and 4.72 percent each.
The Safari figure is a record for Apple since Net Applications changed its methods to more accurately reflect real-world share. Opera was the only other major browser to lose share by dropping to 2.3 percent.
Microsoft's continued rapid fall wasn't immediately explained, but Chrome has been helped by its popularity on both Macs and Windows PCs. Firefox and Safari are also multi-platform but have been criticized for not necessarily behaving the same way on each OS.
OS share itself was much more static last month, although Microsoft again reached its lowest point with Windows getting a still-dominant 91.46 percent. Mac OS X was off just under a hundredth of a point at 5.32 percent, while Linux gained very slightly to reach 1.05 percent.
The researchers also provided early insight into the iPad's usage habits. It still accounted for just a very small fraction of web traffic at 0.03 percent; in the US, the only country where it officially sells, it represented 0.12 percent. Hawaii and California are the most popular usage areas at 0.19 and 0.18 percent respectively, and the San Francisco Bay Area unsurprisingly has the highest concentration of users on a regional level. Wyoming has the least amount of use at just 0.03 percent.
OS traffic share, April 2010