The global browser numbers race between Chrome and Internet Explorer remains highly contested, but Google has sent the strongest signal yet that Chrome holds the crown as the Web browser leader.
Google Chrome senior vice president Sundar Pichai, speaking at D10, started off noting Chrome's growth:
"Chrome grew roughly 300 percent last year -- we have hundreds of millions of active users. We have many ways of looking at it. You can argue about the data, but in general I think we have gained substantial mindshare since we've launched the product."
Amid the hedging, he went on (emphasis mine)::
"I think it's fair to say that we are number one or number two in all countries in the world. It's fair to say that roughly a third of people are using Chrome; I think it's much more than a third in the consumer space. Most users in enterprise use IE because it takes a long time for that space to upgrade."
"There are places where our share is over 50 percent today. I think the speed of Chrome is much more notable when you have a slow connection."
What could be seen as a bold statement could also be seen as a Dewey victory. Having said that, only Google knows exactly how many downloads it's had for Chrome, but downloads do not equal installs or active use.
Plus, at least one browser counter suggests Chrome really is in the lead.
StatCounter said Chrome overtook Internet Explorer in May, even after it took into account a pre-rendering adjustment. The research firm said the move did not have any "significant" impact on its statistics.
It currently sees Internet Explorer at 32.12 percent, with Chrome a fraction ahead at 32.43 percent.
It's also worth noting that it is not the first time Chrome has jumped ahead of Internet Explorer, according to the analytics firm. Chrome was the "world's top browser" for a single day on March 18. It's likely the figure jumped on the Sunday because the vast majority were at home and not at the office, where Internet Explorer still dominates the work environment.
But it doesn't mean Internet Explorer can't recoup its losses and claw back the market share it's losing.
On the flip side, Net Applications pegs Internet Explorer at 54 percent with Firefox ahead of Chrome at 19.7 percent and 19.6 percent respectively.
Microsoft was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
Transcript courtesy of Engadget.
See also from D10:
This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Google says Chrome is slamming IE's market share."