To significant fanfare, the world’s two most popular web browsers were updated in March.

Version nine of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the world's most popular web browser, was released on March 14th while Mozilla, makers of the world's second most popular web browser, released Firefox version 4.0 on March 22nd.

According to figures released today by NetMarketshare, Firefox 4.0 has quickly overtaken IE 9.0 in terms of global usage. The firm says that worldwide Firefox 4.0 usage topped Internet Explorer 9.0 on its first day of release and by its third day Firefox usage was more than double that of IE9.

Using information from NetMarketShare, the chart on the right shows IE 9 and Firefox 4 usage worldwide since the respective browsers were released. On Thursday March 22nd, the first day Firefox was available for download, the browser captured a 1.4% share, ahead of IE's 1.24% share despite IE having been available for eight days. By yesterday, six days after Firefox's release, Firefox had garnered a 3.74% market share versus just 1.59% for Internet Explorer.


While it's early the latest web browser battle, it’s clear that Firefox 4.0 is off to a quick start and that Microsoft's Internet Explorer is struggling to gain traction.

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