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Chrome inches past Firefox in desktop browser battle

Google’s browser outpaced its Mozilla rival last month by fraction of a percentage point, according to Web tracker Net Applications.

Net Applications

Google Chrome has snuck past Firefox to take second place among desktop browsers, at least as seen in the latest Web traffic stats from Net Applications.

In March, Chrome took home a 17.5 percent slice of all desktop brower traffic, bumping Firefox to third place with a 17.2 percent cut of the action. That effort marked a first for Chrome, which has consistently ranked behind Firefox in Net Applications' monthly reports.

Chrome has been rising up the ranks to challenge Firefox, though not without some bumps in the road. A year ago, Firefox's share of desktop browser traffic was more than 20 percent, while Chrome's was 16.5 percent. Chrome fell further behind during the second half of 2013. But by February, Firefox's cut had dropped to 17.6 percent, while Chrome's had inched up to 16.8 percent.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer ended March with a 58 percent share of desktop browser traffic, down slightly from February but up from 55 percent a year ago.

Among specific browser versions, IE 8 held the top spot last month with a 21 percent share, followed by IE 11 with 15.7 percent and Google Chrome 33 with 12.6 percent.