Chrome wasn't built in a day, but it's apparently coming undone in a matter of weeks.

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome Internet browser suffered its first weekly dip in usage, according to traffic tracking firm Net Applications.

After sifting through the logs of the 40,000 sites that Net Applications leans on to gauge popularity, it appears that Chrome slipped to 0.77% of the market during the week starting Sept. 15. It had peaked at 0.85% a week earlier.


Week of Sept. 15

Change Since Aug. 24



















Source: Net Applications.

No one expects Google's nascent browser to take the world by storm. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer is the 800-pound gorilla, and Mozilla Foundation's Firefox has established itself as the anti-Explorer browser of choice.

In fact, it may very well be a major accomplishment for Chrome to surpass both Opera and Netscape in its first month. That not enough, though. If Chrome doesn't make a move now, it may forever be a fringe player.

Google doesn't want that. Chrome is a bold shot at loosening Microsoft's death grip on Web surfing. Explorer's browser share is larger than Google's search-engine share.

Thankfully, Firefox isn't the only browser nibbling at Mr. Softy's ankles. Google has an ally in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), whose Safari browser is naturally gaining market share as its computing products proliferate faster than Wintel machines from Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ). Safari's updated availability on non-Mac computers will also help.

So in the bigger picture, Google won't mind taking a small step back for a week, if it means that Microsoft takes an even bigger step back over time. This is one fight against Microsoft in which Google doesn't have to go it alone.  

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't much of a window shopper, but he is a browser browser. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a shiny disclosure policy.