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Google Chrome now No.2 browser in the World, surpasses Firefox

Published by on Dec 1st, 2011, 15 Comments

Google‘s own Chrome browser has had incredible growth in 3 short years. After being announced in December 2008, the lean and mean browser has taken the web by storm, and has now officially overtaken Mozilla’s open-source Firefox browser.

Chrome now has 25.55% of the web browser market compared to Firefox‘s 25.42%. That is hardly any growth, but what makes this significant is that Firefox has actually started declining in market share, where it once held 30% of the market. Internet Explorer is also continuing to lose market share, and this week it fell below 40% for the first time. This is probably due to users of old machines finally upgrading from Internet Explorer 6, but instead of upgrading to IE8 or 9, going directly to another browser like Chrome. And any self-respecting “tech-guru” will tell their luddite friends to switch to another browser, which updates itself and leads to less maintenance.

But it looks like South Africa is a little behind worldwide trends for browser usage – Internet Explorer has taken a very recent up-tick in usage, and Firefox has only steadily been declining over the last few months. Google Chrome is clearly growing the fastest, and it looks like it will overtake Firefox within the next 90 days: (click graph to enlarge)

The question is now how quickly Google Chrome will be neck in neck with Internet Explorer in worldwide traffic. At the current pace of growth, it looks like 2012 might be the year Google Chrome becomes the most popular browser on Earth.

Comments

  • Nycdigitalgirl

    That people still use Internet Explorer at all is mind boggling.

  • Geembe

    For 20 years I have been a Microsoft Fanatic….
    Now I’m changing my tune.
    IE 9.0 prevents me from downloading exe’s. (Apprently I’m too stupid to decide what I want to download). Cant view my “Proof of Payment” on FNB website…(Microsoft decides it is dangerous content). Cant print my tax return from Sarsefiling (Also a dangerous practise according to Microsoft)

    However, with Firefox and Chrome – no problem.
    My resolution: Tonight is the night to remove IE from my machine!

  • Charl Norman

    Get Chrome. I was a long time Firefox user, and Chrome is better. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NGBK2W3PAA53W67OLJAQE2R4RQ Scott Gerard

    I was a Firefox user for years – got my first firefox tshirt way back when and have been a supporter until recently.  

    Chrome is much faster, and loads better.

  • http://www.bandwidthblog.com Minnaar Pieters

    Agree with Charl. While Firefox is a great browser, Chrome is leaner and meaner.

  • Glide3

    No real need to remove IE from your machine IMHO, if anything it might make your Windows less stable. Very tied into the OS it is. Just delete the icon “where it counts” and install one of the following alternatives. Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
    Internet Explorer has actually improved a lot from a web development point of view since version 6 that said its almost always the one that causes us Web developers some sort of hassle on a project.
    Very sad what has happened to Firefox in the last couple of months. It was THE browser that us techy types tried to get the IE camp to move to. I really hope things pick up for them and they return.

  • Charl Norman

    great comment

    I know of devs that used Firefox purely because they needed Firebug. But with the dev tools improving on Chrome they have also now jumped ship.

  • Aklsjfaskldj

    @ Scott: Agreed, same story here. Firefox has become unbelievably slow. 

  • Glide3

    I agree that chrome is much faster and leaner, but is it more secure and private?

    A while back we used a program call Fiddler (www.fiddler2.com). It watches the traffic sent to and from your web browser. Chrome was sending everything I did and typed off to google as far as I recall. This has recently stopped it seems. So it could have been a mistake or a once off but check this out
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/11/secret-software-logging-video/
    (was sent to me by a colleague at work).

    I’m not really that bothered about it and I have nothing interesting to hide but a web browser already is the most important piece of software on most of our computers and its probably watching everything we do. Privacy in a web browser is becoming a major issue. Speed and stability might not be everything,

    In summary we need to think before we use things: don’t just download something because it sounds cool or time saving, do some googling and research on software before you use it.

    Here is a great site for alternatives http://www.techsupportalert.com/ and http://alternativeto.net/

    then again what browser is perfect in every regard. They all have a hidden agenda, are out to dominate the market, and track probably everything we do. Sigh…

  • Glide3

    Charl I agree 100%
    I’ve 2 have a few developer colleagues/friends that have moved to Chrome due to the improvement in its dev tools. Firebug / Web developer / FiddlerHook (no longer working) ColorZilla are good example of addons that have kept our dev easy.
    I’ve heard of Opera developers having similar tools but have never seen them. The IE Dev toolbar has never been as slick as the Firefox alternatives but is also improving AFAIK.
    Some devs developer in the “lowest common denominator” = IE as that is where most of the problems exist for them. What a pain that must be. I prefer to use FF with all the fancy tools, get the sites 99% working and then start solving the IE bugs.
    Might be moving to chrome soon. Just going to give FireFox a few more “updates” to prove themselves again. Solve the memory issues etc. (If they can be solved since most of them are probably my custom addons)

  • http://www.e-magination.co.za Richard

    While I agree with most of the comments here … I think Chrome is very much institutional as IE was. How certain features in gmail are only available if you use Chrome sounds very much like when Microsoft only allowed certain functionality with IE. For this reason I will stay with FF and continue to send bug reports on the recent memory and performance issues to help the community resolve the issues adn continue to build a stronger more competative and developer friendly browser. I have no dislike for Chrome, just see it following the MS road.

  • Johann

    I was experimenting with Chrome, Opera, Firefox and IE.
    Chrome is by far the best, Opera is also a good product. I have since uninstall
    Firefox because you have to update it regularly which is annoying and i simply don’t
    like it. Now that i have an option to use alternatives to IE i realizes what a
    crap product IE was al these years. But the
    down side of all Non IE browsers is that most if not all big institutions like
    banks only supports IE (Suppose they get kickbacks from Mafia Boss Bill Gates
    Microsoft)

  • Glide3

    Good point RE banking sites and software mostly supporting IE. I experience the same issue with our banks. Also true sometimes for asp and aspx pages in general.
    Might not just be due to kickbacks but the “benefit” of using Microsoft software that is “sold” to the uppers in some companies. Or the close integration IE/.net/aspx offers on a OS level for smart card / smart keys and other security banking features such as encryption and certificates etc. AFAIK Windows 2000, XP and 7 have a very large share of the regular desktop users so they probably needed to cater for the majority. Linux users tend to be pretty experienced on avg and usually work around this issues without to much complaining (virtualbox / wine etc.). Mac users are on the rise and I wonder how well bank sites work for them.
    I do feel that alot of us are very quick to leave FF (I almost did). All the browsers are updating themselves more frequently of late. Maybe FF’s update route is more annoying that others. IE usually requires a scary restart that could take ones OS down, Opera I’ve not seen, Chrome happens in the background as a service AFAIK.
    Not saying we should stick with FF forever or ignore the current strengths of chrome. I just feel they did a good thing back in the days championing the IE battle. :)

  • Glide3

    Very good point RE certain gmail features in chrome. Tough part for browsers has to be creating new standards and features that are lacking but doing it in such a way that you don’t get told you are trying to monopolise the market with some feature that the others haven’t yet adopted, and might never adopt. IE certainly did this for a long time.

  • Glide3

    :) it is rather strange. My thoughts on this.

    1) Alot of devs get told to make sure our sites works in IE. So ironically we might have made IE the most supported browser.
    2) It is the default browser after a Window install. Microsoft at least ask people which search engine they prefer but actually offering another web browser I think only happens in the European versions of Windows. Or it comes with no browser … can’t remember.
    3) Ain’t broken don’t fix it mentality might apply in the case of the avg Windows computer user. They just don’t know better, and or fear technology so just use what they have to in order to get the job done. I have alot of Aunties and Uncles in this category. The digital divide still exists to this day.
    4) ASP pages at some point in time only worked on IE, and hence internal Intranet web applications were written for IE and have since never been updated for those companies that spend oodles of money on them.
    5) No idea if this is true but I get the feeling that .NET programming is very big at the mo. No idea if that plays a role on corporate decision making for default browsers.

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