Microsoft may be trumpeting the rapid adoption of its Internet Explorer 9 beta, but according to the latest figures from StatCounter, that didn't stop IE's global usage share from falling below 50% last month. The line graph below, nabbed from the StatCounter Global Stats page, illustrates IE's decline in popularity rather well:
IE was sitting pretty with a 58.4% usage share one year ago—a year before that, it was at 67.2%—but that number dropped to 49.9% last month. For reference, Firefox commanded 31.5% of the market in September, while Google Chrome had 11.5%, and Safari and Opera each captured less than 5%.
Having defected from Firefox to Chrome on my own PC a few months ago, and knowing others who've done the same, I'm a little surprised that Chrome's rise in popularity hasn't coincided with some shrinkage on the Firefox side. Firefox's usage share has actually gone up ever so slightly, from 31.3% to 31.5%. Clearly, Chrome's rapid growth is coming at the expense of IE.