One of the themes of Microsoft’s newcampaign for Internet Explorer, which I wrote about in IE Sucks … Less?, is that “comebacks come in many shapes and sizes.” And while some may snicker at the notion of an IE comeback, the data suggests that usage in Microsoft’s browser is at least evening out. It may even be on the upswing.

NetMarketShare reports that Internet Explorer’s share of the desktop web browser market in November was about 55 percent, up a hair from 54.23 percent the previous month. But IE’s share of the market has been level or trending up all year. It was 54 percent in July and in April, and 53 percent in January. Maybe that inevitable downward slide isn’t so inevitable after all.

To understand how the year has gone for IE’s, let look at the chart. As you can see, a slight upward trend, and not bad for a web browser that was supposedly being AOL’d out of the market. (In 2011, this chart showed a slight downward trend.)

But what about the other browsers?

Chrome’s usage share in 2012 has gone down from 19 percent in January to 17.24 percent in November. Firefox usage is flat: 20.88 percent in January, 20.44 percent in November.

Comeback? Maybe. But at the very least, IE’s obituary was being written prematurely.