Firefox usage remained level and Google's Chrome continued to pull ahead of Apple's Safari, but the most notable change in January's browser usage statistics is that the reviled Internet Explorer 6 no longer is the most common.
According to Net Applications' monthly usage share figures, No. 1 IE and No. 2 Firefox each slipped a bit compared to December--IE down from 62.7 to 62.2 percent, and Firefox down from 24.6 to 24.4 percent. Chrome rose from 4.6 to 5.2 percent, and Safari stayed level at about 4.5 percent.
When digging into the version-by-version statistics, though, it emerges that IE 6 and IE 8 have changed places. IE 6 was ahead by a nose in December, but in January, IE 8 held a solid lead at 22.3 percent to 20.1 for IE 6. Firefox 3.5, for comparison, is at 17.1 percent.