Internet Explorer (IE) is still the browser of choice worldwide, although it dominance decreases with each passing month, but it’s the battle for Number 2 that may fast change hands.  Mozilla’s Firefox has been a solid number 2 for a while, but if current numbers keep pace, Google’s Chrome will pass it in the first half on 2012.

IE has been famously ignored for years, although it should be noted an update is on the way in 2012, which has led to an active and growing battle for spots 2, 3 and 4.  Safari, by Apple, is solidly in 4th.  In November 2011, Firefox dropped .4% to 22.1%, while Chrome gained .7% to 18.2%.  these numbers are from “Net Applications” Browser usage measurement.

According to Stat Counter the battle is already over.  It reports Chrome’s market share at 25.69% worldwide and Firefox at 25.23%.  In the U.S., Chrome is still number three at 17.3%.

All of this is important because browser makers call the shots on what software powers their programs.

Worldwide mobile browser usage is dominated by Apple’s safari.