Microsoft Internet Explorer fell below 50 per cent of worldwide market share of web browser traffic for the first time.
StatCounter Global Stats found that Microsoft IE had fallen to 49.87 per cent in September with Mozilla's Firefox in runner up market share position of 31.5 per cent. Google Chrome continued to grow at the fastest rate of any of the competiting browsers until it reached 11.54 per cent in march.
"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars," said StatCounter boss Aodhan Cullen. "Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67 per cent."
Cullen pointed out that Microsoft having been forced to offer European Windows users a choice of browser by the European Commission competition authorities may have accelerated the browser's drop to less than 50 per cent globally.
Figures show that Europeans were particularly keen on switching to alternative browsers with IE market share dropping to 40.26 per cent while in Microsoft country North America, IE continues to have more than half of the browser market share at 52.3 per cent followed by Firefox at 27.21 per cent and Chrome at 9.87 per cent.
Microsoft will be hoping to reclaim some of the lost market share when it launches the firm's next generation of web browser, Internet Explorer 8.
For more statistics by region, see StatCounter Global Stats.