News

Chrome Gains Browser Market Share at IE's Expense

After a year of dramatic growth, Google's Chrome has become the third most popular browser behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox, with Apple's Safari moving to the fourth position.

Less than a year and a half after its debut, Chrome's market share in December 2009 was 4.6 percent -- triple its January 2009 share of 1.5 percent, according to Web metrics firm Net Applications.

The browser's increasing popularity has come at the expense of Internet Explorer (IE), which dropped seven points in the same time period, from 69.7 percent to 62.7 percent, according to Net Applications. IE's market share decreased by approximately one percent nearly every month in the second half of 2009.

On a positive note for Microsoft, data shows that IE 8 has nearly become the company's top browser version in use, at 20.9 percent in December, while the eight-year-old IE 6 was at 21 percent.

Chrome's rapidly increasing market share has been helped by Google's extensive advertising on its sites -- including the main search page-- and the recent release of beta editions for Mac and Linux. The browser's December increase of 0.7 percent was the largest since Google launched the browser and may have been partly due to the release of the beta editions.

In addition, Chrome's market share could receive a boost in 2010 with the release of Chrome OS netbooks, which require use of the Chrome OS.

However, Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, said in an e-mail interview that it should not be assumed that Chrome's market share will continue to increase. "We see a tendency of some to balk at the ‘centralization' of control that Google is placing on data and personal information," he said.

If Chrome does continue to increase, it most likely would take from Firefox's market share, as that product seems to be stalled, Janulaitis commented.

In 2009, according to the data, Firefox's share grew from 22.1 percent to 24.6 percent, just short of the 25 percent milestone. In the same period, Safari increased its shares from 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent.

Will there ultimately be a "winner" in the browser competition, or more likely a leveling out for the top browsers? Janulaitis had a prediction: 65 percent IE, 20 to 25 percent Firefox and 10 to 15 percent Chrome.

Based in California, Net Applications measures usage with a pool of about 160 million unique visitors each month, obtained by tracking the systems the company monitors for its clients. Other companies that track browser usage come up with similar trends, though different numbers, such as StatCounter and StatOwl.

About the Author

Anne Watkins is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York.

comments powered by Disqus

Featured

  • Death of the Dev Machine?

    Here's a takeaway from this week's Ignite 2020 event: An advanced Azure cloud portends the death of the traditional, high-powered dev machine packed with computing, memory and storage components.

  • COVID-19 Is Ignite 2020's Elephant in the Room: 'Frankly, It Sucks'

    As in all things of our new reality, there was no escaping the drastic changes in routine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic during Microsoft's big Ignite 2020 developer/IT pro conference, this week shifted to an online-only event after drawing tens of thousands of in-person attendees in years past.

  • Visual Studio 2019 v16.8 Preview Update Adds Codespaces

    To coincide with the Microsoft Ignite 2020 IT pro/developer event, the Visual Studio dev team shipped a new update, Visual Studio 2019 v16.8 Preview 3.1, with the main attraction being support for cloud-hosted Codespaces, now in a limited beta.

  • Speed Lines Graphic

    New for Blazor: Azure Static Web Apps Support

    With Blazor taking the .NET web development world by storm, one of the first announcements during Microsoft's Ignite 2020 developer/IT event was its new support in Azure Static Web Apps.

  • Entity Framework Core 5 RC1 Is Feature Complete, Ready for Production

    The first release candidate for Entity Framework 5 -- Microsoft's object-database mapper for .NET -- has shipped with a go live license, ready for production.

Upcoming Events