Browser Wars: Google Chrome Wins a Round, at Everyone Else's Expense


The Net browser wars have just taken an interesting turn: For the month of February, Google's Chrome was the only one to demonstrate a growth in market share. It was a tiny change, but a strangely interesting one. What's Chrome's secret?

The market percentages for browsers in February 2010, according to Net Applications analytics run as follows:

  • Chrome: 5.61%, up 0.39% from January
  • IE: 61.58%, down 0.54%
  • Firefox: 24.23%, down 0.2%
  • Safari: 4.45%, down 0.08%
  • Opera: 2.35%, down 0.03%

Now, Net Applications statistics are created by analyzing some 160 million unique visitors per month, across about 40,000 target Web sites, and then some weighting and tweaking goes on to account for the active Net population count in the source countries. In other words, the percentages quoted here are not 100% precise, and you should remember this particularly when you're looking at some of the smaller market shares.

But the message is still clear. For February, all other big-names lost tiny chunks of the market, while Chrome was the only browser to improve its position. How did that happen? It's probably a result of several tweaks Google's made over the last couple of months—not the least of which is the Chrome for Mac beta edition at the end of 2009. We know that Apple's been building its marketshare in the PC space recently, so one would maybe expect that Safari's market share had risen...but perhaps Apple's users feel less bound to one browser than the typical PC user, and have been adopting Chrome like mad.

Or perhaps users have read about the great Internet Explorer debacle, and though not conscious of the business-monopoly issues behind the E.U.'s browser ballot decision, have become aware that there's a different solution available to them, and they've gone for the big name Google. It could also be the new browser "extensions" for both Mac and PC versions of Chrome that turn the little browser that could into a more heavy-hitting Web browser that competes with features that Firefox, IE and others have offered for ages.

The only thing Google should worry about is maintaining this momentum, and grabbing yet more market space. The E.U. browser ballot may help, but Google probably needs to engage in some serious PR promotions to get Chrome into the public consciousness—it's easy to see it being the browser of choice for the code-heads and boffins among the Net community at the moment.

[Via ZDNet]

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  • Tom DeSantis

    Sure, fall into Googles web, thier combined arrogance and invasive privacy tentacles mandate...the grass is always greener, lol. Meanwhile, I'll stick with IE8 and is terrific.

  • David Osedach

    I switched over to GOOGLE Chrome as soon as it came out. I continue to be very satisfied.

  • Iulian Ionescu

    Chrome's secret is certainly the speed. I've never seen pages load so fast...

  • Steve horwitz

    I've been using Chrome since it was introduced. I was always getting bumped off until recently and now it works great. The best browser on the market.

  • Kit Eaton

    @John. Apologies, I shall try to get it cleared up shortly.
    @Greg. Hmmm.... IE does indeed have the big market share. But that's not actually the point of the argument is it? Chrome has come from nowhere to stealing a significant chunk of the market very very swiftly, and it's demonstrating growth. That's actually interesting, compared to the shenanigans of MS's bloated, aging monster.
    @Willem. Interesting--no promotions here in my bit of Europe. What's going on with you--print, TV, bus-shelter ad placement stuff?

  • Willem Sodderland

    I don't know what Google is doing in the U.S., but in Europe they are spending millions in advertising to push Chrome. Interesting that your article doesn't consider this as an influence. Cheers, Willem

  • Greg Steggerda

    Have you ever actually been in business? What this data says is everyone else is still getting their butt kicked by IE -- there is one player and a bunch of dabblers. I don't like IE, I use Firefox, but purely from a business sense .54% loss in market share is not worrisome unless it continues for a long time, plus is easily made up in margin/cross-selling. Any business that has more than half of its market is dominant. Microsoft might be worried about Google, but right now they are not worried about Chrome.

  • David Majer

    Google should be keeping pace with Mac users, we're the Internet's biggest fan boys and promoters / ambassadors.

    Ok maybe that's just me. But, if Google gets mac Chrome up to speed with it's Windows counterpart, I promise to get 5 friends to defect!

  • Kate Sudarkina

    The Net browser wars have just taken an interesting turn: For the month of February, Google's Chrome was the only one to demonstrate a growth in market share. It was a tiny change, but a strangely interesting one. What's Chrome's secret?

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