Net Applications has released the internet browser usage statistics for October. While changes weren't dramatic, they do seem to indicate a continuing trend: more are using Chrome and Firefox, while fewer are using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Compared to September, Chrome and Firefox are up 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, while IE is down a little over 1%.

Here's the full breakdown in some nice charts via Net Applications:

October 2009:

browser stat 2009-10.png


September 2009
browser stat 2009-09.png


Yet, these changes are far more drastic if you look back a year ago:

October 2008:
browser stat 2008-10 v2.PNG


This shows around a 9% share loss for IE, a 4.5% share gain for Firefox and a 2.5% share gain for Chrome. While that Chrome increase might not seem too impressive, it is. That's a 250% increase from the mere 1% share it had a year ago.

Anyone who has tried Firefox or Chrome probably finds the reasons for this change as rather obvious. Firefox and Chrome, on several levels, are just better. In my experience, they load more quickly upon execution and bring up pages faster. And when it comes to internet surfing, speed matters.

I actually switched full-time from IE to Firefox recently. It just seems far superior for memory usage and speed. But I've also been tinkering with Chrome lately. I really like the interface. I also like how the address bar works as an auto search with suggestions as you type. Google innovation at work, no doubt.

Still, IE remains the clear leader. There are some pages that just work better through its interface, which makes it impossible to ignore entirely. If Windows 7 turns out to be as good as some early reports indicate, then that could result in some users switching back to IE. It's hard to overcome the huge market presence that IE has, but competitors do seem to be chipping away, little-by-little.