Does it really matter which browser is the world's most popular. If you're the company or group that develops the browser, it certainly does. But for us 99.9 percenters, it makes no difference at all. So why does everyone make such a big deal out of the periodic reports that one browser or another is now Numbah One?\n\tIn the case of Internet Explorer, there are a lot of Microsoft haters out there, and anything that tarnishes that company's position is welcome. Some people are fans of the open source movement and thus are attracted to Mozilla\u2019s Firefox, while others think that Google\u2019s Chrome, with its minimalist look and speedy page rendering, is simply cool, the anti-IE.\n\tMe, I just want my browser to work the way I do. A lot of that is probably just habit. I\u2019ve gotten used to Firefox, and Pale Moon, its close cousin, and when I need to use another browser for one reason or another, it feels a bit awkward. But ultimately it makes no difference. That\u2019s not to say there aren\u2019t specific Mozilla features, such as the add-ons, that I really like. But I wouldn\u2019t say others wouldn\u2019t be happy with Chrome or IE.\n\tThat wasn\u2019t true five or so years ago. At that time, many Web pages were coded in such a way that browsers other than IE didn\u2019t display them very well. That\u2019s no longer the case. Unless you use a really obscure browser, and there are some around, the entire Web works quite well. Again, there are some differences, but no drop deads.\n\tHaving said all that, it is interesting to look at browser market share because it tells us something about the way people are using the Web.\n\tI haven\u2019t used IE, except for the sake of informed comparisons, much in years. But since I\u2019m self-employed, my computing setup is my own business. But when I was out there in the 9 to 5 world, I had IT departments to cope with, and for security and central management reasons, the applications I used at work were their business, and rightfully so.\n\n\tFirefox 13 Arrives with Snazzy Features that Rival Chrome\n\tGoogle Chrome Is the People's Browser -- on the Weekend\n\tWhile IT departments are loosening up, quite a few still insist that company users work with IE. Since I know that\u2019s the case, I tend to be a bit suspicious of surveys that purport to show Chrome with a greater market share. I do believe it is gaining popularity, and the fact that more people can use it at work speaks to the growing consumerization of IT. But many people who buy a new PC find that IE is already on it ready to use, so they don\u2019t bother to change.\n\tOK. Now to some numbers (We're talking desktop here; mobile browsing is a different animal).\n\tA company called NetMarketShare, which estimates browser usage differently than some other outfits, recently released its tally and found that IE is roughly 2.5 times more popular than with either Firefox or Chrome. It shows IE with a share of 54.05 percent; followed by Firefox at 19.71 percent and Chrome just a bit behind at 19.58 percent. After that, share for other browsers falls off the cliff, with Safari at just 4.62 percent, which seems low to me.\n\tOf course, those numbers aggregate the different versions of these browsers, so they\u2019re not quite as useful as they might be.\n\tUnlike a number of its competitors, NetMarketShare counts unique users (instead of page views) and assigns different measurements to its samples from different countries. Notice, I said \u201csamples,\u201d and earlier I used the word \u201cestimates.\u201d There is no company that can actually measure browser usage. All they can do is make estimates, some of which are probably more accurate than others.\n\tI\u2019m not in a position to say whose methodology is better. But I do have a good deal of experience observing the technology industry, and my reasonably educated guess is that IE remains the leading browser for the reasons I\u2019ve mentioned.\n\tIf you hate Microsoft, feel free to use Chrome and believe that it is the world\u2019s most popular browser. Unlike many other prejudices, that one hurts no one.