According to the Adobe Digital Index, Google has surpassed Microsoft for market share in the U.S. for the first time among Internet browser manufacturers.

Google's browsers, which include Chrome for desktop and mobile and the Android browser for mobile, reached a usage mark of 31.8 percent, compared to Microsoft's Internet Explorer which had a usage of 30.9 percent. 

Apple's Safari came in at third with 25 percent usage for both its desktop and mobile versions. while Mozilla's Firefox came in at a distant fourth with 8.7 percent usage.

However, it should be noted that Google is not at the top for neither desktop nor mobile. Internet Explorer still comes in first among desktop browsers with 43 percent usage, while Safari shows the iPhone's popularity as it comes first among mobile browsers at 59 percent.

Internet Explorer dominated the browser market share in the past, posting over 80 percent usage as recently as 2008. However, the browser has since been on the decline while Google's browsers and Safari have been on the upswing. This trend can be attributed to the increase of users browsing the Internet through their smartphones, where Google and Apple have a firm hold on the market.

Internet Explorer's early dominance was driven by Windows' likewise dominance of the operating systems market, where Internet Explorer is the default browser. The rise of mobile browsing provided more leverage for Google and Apple to promote Chrome and Safari as the default browsers of the respective mobile operating systems.

ADI principal analyst Tamara Gaffney said that with Google seizing the top spot in the Internet browser wars, the company now has a bigger role in the daily lives of users.

"Not only do the Chrome and Android browsers both default to Google search, but with their Gmail and Google+ extensions, consumers are spending more and more time signed into Google's ecosystem," Gaffney said.

It is also noted that Firefox, which has had a steady presence in the market share but has declined to 8.7 percent, does not have a mobile version.

Gaffney said that today's browser landscape is very different from the past, when Internet Explorer was the only good choice for an Internet browser.

"Today, the market is fragmented. There are four big players, and there is a certain portion of the digital audience using each of them, depending on which device is in use at any given time. Marketers can no longer develop for a single browser-especially in the mobile space."

Adobe Digital Index tracks browser usage by monitoring user visits to U.S. websites, including media, retail, entertainment, travel, and financial service sites.

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