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Google’s new Chrome browser has beaten Apple’s Safari browser but is well behind Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, according to new research released by Net Applications.

The research company claims that, according to data collected in December 2009, Google Chrome, which was officially launched in September 2008, was used by 4.63 per cent of web users, compared to Apple’s market share of 4.46 per cent.

Nearly two-thirds of all web browsers use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (62.69 per cent), Mozilla Firefox was in second place on 24.61 per cent, distantly followed by Google.

According to The Daily Telegraph in the UK, wresting third place from Apple, however, is a milestone for Google, and coincides with the company launching a major advertising campaign for the browser in some global markets.

No advertising is planned for Australia, where Google has chosen not to launch the new Nexus One Google Smartphone.

Google claims that speed and stability are the main selling points behind Chrome, which is also designed to take up as little of the users’ screen space as possible, allowing them to see more of the web in one browser window. Each browser tab also acts like a separate programme, so if a website crashes the tab it does not force render the rest of the browser unusable. 

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