Google Chrome has surpassed Mozilla's Firefox browser to become the world's second most popular Web browser and now trails only Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter.

Chrome's worldwide market share is pegged about 25.7 percent, while Firefox's market share is estimated to be roughly 25.2 percent. Internet Explorer clearly dominates the market with a 40.6 percent share.

Google Chrome may be the No. 2 browser globally, but it remains in the No. 3 spot in the U.S. with 17.3 percent of the nationwide market share, a 6.4 percent jump from last November. Internet Explorer holds the top spot in the U.S., too, with 50.7 percent share, up 0.4 percent from last year. Firefox is still the second most popular browser in the U.S. representing 20.1 percent of the market.

Internet Explorer has taken a hit from not being available on smartphones or tablets, with its share dipping below 50 percent for the first time in November. Meanwhile, Apple's Safari browser picked up a lot of the slack, claiming 62.2 percent of mobile traffic thanks to its status as the default browser for the popular iPhone and iPad devices. Chrome would receive a big mobile boost if it were ported to Google's Android devices.

Google currently owns roughly 91 percent of the global search engine market, while Microsoft's Bing only accounts for less than four percent. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., is also under investigation by the Justice Department and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission because of its scope. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., exited oversight by a U.S. District Court in May after 10 years due to prior unfair practices.

Google Chrome, despite being only three years old, has more than 200 million users. Firefox, which was first introduced in November 2004, has about 450 million global users. It's published by the Mozilla Foundation in Mountain View., Calif.