Microsoft's browsers took a beating of historical proportions last month, losing user share at a rate that could put it in second place, behind Google, as early as May, new data signaled today.
The several editions of Internet Explorer (IE) and two versions of Edge lost a combined 2.1 percentage points of user share in February, the largest one-month decline for Microsoft in the 11 years of recorded statistics that Computerworld has compiled from metrics vendor Net Applications.
IE and Edge -- Net Applications dumps the latter's user share into the bucket labeled "IE" -- accounted for 44.8% of all browsers used to reach the Web last month. A year earlier, that number was 57.4%.
Microsoft's browsers dipped under the major milestone of 50% only in December, but if the user share drain stays on the pace set in the last three months, it will slip under the 40% bar sometime in May.
When changes in IE's user share over the last 12 months were used to model its fall, the under-40% mark occurred in July.
In either forecast, IE's plunge was mirrored by the rise of Google's Chrome, which is poised to replace Microsoft's browsers as the world's most-used in the same months that IE is projected to drop below the 40% mark.