IE is the market leader and is slowly losing its shine. But why? Why would a user change from one browser to another?
There's fragmentation by OS and version numbers. IE 8 is as good as it gets on XP, but if you're on Vista or Win7 you can have a nice shiny IE9 with added functionality.
As we all know, FF was on a rapid version update in the last few months. I can't help but think that has something to do with its decline. Having to update to a new version gives users the idea that they might just try something else. On one machine I wasn't nagged for a FF update for months. I deliberately left it to see how long before it offered the update, and it was too long, imho.
Chrome is on the rise, and there may be several reasons for that. Firstly, how many times have you visited a Google property and gotten a browser error or incompatibility message while using IE or FF? I seem to be seeing these quite regularly now. Secondly, Chrome is one of those ghost browsers that updates silently. It phones home to Google all the time and users don't need to think about downloading the latest version or security fix. Personally, I don't like that secrecy. I like to know what's going on under the hood. At the very least to be notified when updated.
Of course, more people are using G+, and Chrome has to be the browser of choice there, especially if you wish to avoid the incompatibility errors.
In addition, how many times have you been bugged by the Chrome ad on Google? I see it all the time.
All these things are helping others lose market share and Chrome is there ready to pick up the pieces.