While there is more than enough room to grow by simply eroding Internet Explorer’s share on the browser market, the growth of a specific player impacts the others as well. Case in point: Google Chrome’s increase in usage share in January and February 2010. Chrome is managing to hurt not only Microsoft’s IE but also Mozilla’s Firefox. According to statistics from Net Applications, Google Chrome was the only major browser to gain market share in January 2010.

“The Google Chrome browser gained .4% of global usage share in January. All other major browsers showed a month-to-month decline,” the Internet metrics company stated. This is, of course, nothing new for Internet Explorer, as Microsoft has been continuously seeing its browser market share erode. However, it is news for Mozilla, which has become used to a steady pace of growth, especially in the detriment of IE.

What’s even more interesting is that the first two months of 2010 could very well end up being the beginning of a new trend. At the start of the past month, Net Applications revealed that “the Google Chrome browser gained .6% of global usage share in January. Both Firefox and Internet Explorer dropped share during the last month.”

Overall, IE’s share diminished from 62.69% in December 2009 to 62.12% in January 2010 and subsequently to 61.58% at the end of the past month. During the same period, Firefox dropped from 24.61% to 24.43% and to 24.23%. Opera also took a small blow in terms of lost audience, albeit smaller than Microsoft and Mozilla. Throughout the same three months, Opera’s share decreased from 2.40% to 2.38% and to 2.35% in February 2010.

Google Chrome accounts for 5.61% at the end of February 2010, up from 5.22% the previous month and 4.63%in December 2009. At the start of this year, Google offered the first Stable release of Chrome 4.0 and moved onward to produce version 5.0.

As far as browser versions are concerned, Internet Explorer 8 increased its market share, but the growth was offset by the much more consistent share loss of IE7 and IE6. Microsoft is currently working on Internet Explorer 9, with more details on this version of IE planned for mid-March at MIX10.

Early 2010 brought with it the release of Firefox 3.6, the minor update to version 3.5, which has climbed to 5.16% of the market. Meanwhile Firefox 3.5 has suffered a strong decrease of its market share, from 17.08% to 14.54% in the past month, a loss which can be attributed to the release of Firefox 3.6.

Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) RTW is available for download x86 or x64

Firefox 3.6 Final, and Firefox 3.5 for Windows are available for download here.

Google Chrome 4.0 Stable and Chrome 5.0 are available for download here.

The latest release of Opera 10 and Opera 10.50 are available for download here.

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