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Reading this on Google's Chrome browser, and not IE? You're part of a trend

Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management for Google, speaks during the company's Chrome event in San Francisco December 7, 2010.

BECK DIEFENBACH/REUTERS

Google Inc.'s Chrome Internet browser overtook Firefox for the first time globally in November and it continues to narrow the gap to market leader Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer, web analytics firm StatCounter said on Thursday.

"We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally," Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter chief executive, said in a statement.

In November Chrome saw its market share roughly doubling from a year ago to 25.7 per cent, while Internet Explorer's share dropped to 40.6 per cent from 48.2 per cent.

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The market share of Firefox – which is popular in Europe – slipped globally to 25.2 per cent from 31.2 per cent.

Apple Inc's Safari is a distant No. 4 on the market with a 5.9 per cent share of all browsing, with No 5 Opera controlling 1.8 percent of the market.

StatCounter statistics are based on aggregate data from more than 3 million websites with a sample of more than 15 billion page views per month.

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