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Microsoft: 'Humbling' that IE 8 top browser

In a blog post, the software maker says it is extremely happy that Internet Explorer 8 is now the world's most popular browser and it finds it "humbling."

Earlier this week, Net Applications released its findings on the most popular browsers in January. For the first time, Internet Explorer 8 took the top spot from Internet Explorer 6 with 22.31 percent market share. Internet Explorer 6 captured 20.07 share.

Excited to hear the news, Microsoft wrote a post on the company's blog late Tuesday touting the figures. The company indicated that it couldn't be happier to hear the results.

"We launched just less than a year ago, so it's both humbling and thrilling to see so many people choose our product so quickly--making it the most popular browser of choice worldwide," Microsoft communications manager Brandon LeBlanc wrote.

In Microsoft's blog post, the company pegged Internet Explorer 8 market share at a slightly higher 27.9 percent share. Microsoft lumped in IE 8 in compatibility mode with Net Application's Internet Explorer 8 figures. The research firm, on the other hand, broke out compatibility mode in its own tally.

After admitting it was humbled by the news that Internet Explorer 8 is already the world's top browser, Microsoft then examined why folks might have chosen its own browser over any other.

"There are many reasons people choose which browser to use," LeBlanc wrote. "Most people want to know and trust the company behind their browser. And people are looking [for] a browser that protects them--and their privacy online." LeBlanc went on to say that Internet Explorer 8's SmartScreen Filter "has done over 350 million malware blocks." Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 have combined to block "over 125 million phishing sites."

That said, the company failed to mention that all versions of Internet Explorer accounted for 68.46 percent of the market in March. In January 2010, Internet Explorer's total market share declined to 62.12 percent.

Finding common ground with Google
Although the battle between Microsoft and Google is heated, Microsoft took some time to find common ground with the search giant. Citing Google's decision to no longer support Internet Explorer 6 in Google Docs and Google Sites services, Microsoft said it agreed with its decision and urged users to go to Internet Explorer 8.

"We support this recommendation to move off Internet Explorer 6," LeBlanc wrote. "Modern browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 bring benefits for customers and developers alike. We realize there are some customers today who depend on Internet Explorer 6, and while we continue to support them through the lifecycle of the product, we are also investing in the tools and training to help them upgrade as well."

At least Microsoft and Google can agree on something.