Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

Summary: If you're looking for a tech success story, look no further than Google's Chrome browser. Less than three years old, it has soared in popularity among techies and civilians worldwide. Here's why Microsoft and Mozilla should be worried.

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If you’re looking for a tech success story, look no further than Google’s Chrome browser. Introduced less than three years ago, it has soared in popularity among techies and civilians worldwide. And its gains are coming at the direct expense of Microsoft and Mozilla.

You can see the worldwide trend in the latest figures from Net Market Share, which publishes snapshots of web usage based on data from 160 million visits per month to its network (the exact methodology is here). Out of curiosity, I asked the analytics wizards at ZDNet to share the statistics from this site as well.

In combination, those numbers confirm what you probably already suspected: By any measure, Chrome is a mega-hit, and it’s putting a big hurt on Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Here’s the story in a picture, followed by some quick analysis.

How successful has Chrome been?

Worldwide, Net Market Share says usage of Google Chrome almost doubled in the past year, from 7.24% to 13.11%. At ZDNet, which tends to attract a more technically sophisticated visitor, the increase was even more startling, going for 15.0% in June 2010 to 24.4% this summer.

Among other browsers, only Safari has been able to grow over the past year, creeping up roughly 2.6%, largely on the strength of growth in iOS devices. At ZDNet, Safari’s share started higher and its growth was much more modest, going from 9.6% to 10.5%.

Firefox is a net loser over the past year. In the Net Market Share numbers, Mozilla Firefox saw its share decline from 23.8% to 21.7%, Here at ZDNet, the decline was a bit more precipitous, tumbling from 34.4% to 30.9%. That’s a 10% drop in the three years since Chrome appeared.

And finally, there’s the biggest loser, Internet Explorer, which has not been able to reverse its losses. Part of the damage is self-inflicted, because Microsoft chose not to make its latest release, Internet Explorer 9, compatible with Windows XP. The impact? On the Net Market Share scale, IE is in danger of slipping below the 50% mark, sliding in a year from 60.3% to 53.7%. Among the tech-centric ZDNet audience, IE still keeps its plurality, but just barely. Its share has gone from 37.9% to 31.1% over the past year.

Of all the browsers in this group, Firefox is in the most dire straits. Over the years, it has defined itself as the safe alternative to Internet Explorer, and it had that slot all to itself while Microsoft was cleaning up its Vista mess. But now it’s been replaced in that role by Chrome, which has the full weight of Google behind it. Given that Google has been Mozilla’s chief backer through the years, it’s hard to see a bright future for Firefox.

See also:

Topics: Apps, Browser, Google, Microsoft

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  • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

    Chrome blows these other browsers out of the water. The only reason I use the others is to verify something's screwed up with a website. Sorry IE and FireFox, but Chrome has seemingly reduced you to testing tools! :-o
    JOSourcing
    • What a load of crap. IE9 is more html and css compliant,

      has waaaaay better perf than either chrome or FF, and on top of that is more secure and better at protecting users from all sorts of malware attacks. You're still living in the 0's
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @Johnny Vegas
        I'm more an IE and FF user myself. I've tried to stick to one browser but sometimes depending on what I'm doing, I just can't do it. IE works well for general browsing escpecially IE9 which just runs really well on most regular website, but I gotta admit that FF with all the add-ons is just really well done. When I'm not sure about a site, I run FF with at least No Script on most of my machines.
        Those who hunt Trolls
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @Johnny Vegas
        Yeah, right MS IE more comilant to html/css. Which html/css? Even MS do not make such bold statements....
        przemoli
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @przemoli

        Most people do seem to accept this statement as true: The most standards compliant and fastest browser on the block is IE.

        That said, I still don't use it, as I am partial to Mozilla's mission of a better Internet for all. Open source vs. closed source is not as big deal to me as *why* the product exists and who makes it. That Mozilla is a not-for-profit charitable organization makes FireFox the moral browser, as far as I am concerned.

        MS and Google can both take their browsers and...
        x I'm tc
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @Johnny Vegas Check out Toms Hardware's latest browser battle and you'll have actual facts rather than unjustified assertions. IE is indeed tops in some things but also poor in other areas (such as stability). In fact, given the task of loading 40 tabs, only Firefox and Opera were able to load all 40 without errors. Google needed some tab reloads, IE needed a lot more, and Safari on Windows has to have each tab loaded individually or else it goes into an infinite loop (a bug that's been present for more than one version but never fixed).
        jgm@...
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @Johnny Vegas

        IE is fail defined. More than 50% of my development time has been doing JS and front tend development for the last year or so and I have learned to DESPISE IE. In my real world experience (not benchmarks but writing real world jQuery/Prototype/AJAX/JS heavy apps) IE 9 is consistently slower than FF and Chrome. Across the board.

        IE 7 and are horrible. On my last project I spent more time tweaking performance and finding work arounds for IE bugs and crappy IE performance than I did coding the app in the first place.

        IE needs to die a quick and painless death.
        Duke E Love
      • @przemoli ... but he's not MS

        [i]" ... Even MS do not make such bold statements...."[/i]

        He's a MS employee .. just thought we needed to clarify that. He's just part of the [i]borganization[/i].
        thx-1138_
    • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

      @JOSourcing
      Nope, IE is more HTML and CSS compatible than Chrome. Please straighten your facts.
      Ram U
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @Rama.NET
        IE is NOT as standards compliant as either Firefox or Chrome. IE9 doesn't even support the text-shadow property, which both Chrome and Firefox have for years. Both Firefox and Chrome support (to a degree) CSS3 transitions. IE9 doesn't even attempt them. According to Microsoft, they'll be included with IE10.

        I can't believe there are actually people who think IE is more standards-compliant than either Firefox or Chrome.
        Bonesnap
    • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

      @JOSourcing

      Sorry, as a developer, I find Chrome has as many problems as the others - it also appears to be unable to run HTML/CSS off local drives (yes Dorothy some people still use optical drives).

      In the end, I prefer the most powerful and functional browser and that's IE. If you are one of the lucky people who uses Windows then it comes free.

      If I had to choose the worst of the browsers from a developer point of view I'd have to say Safari wins hands down - can't even render a line of text with the same width as all the others as well as various other problems. When it comes to HTML 5 compatibility, iOS has the worst. Because of their decision not to implement autoplay in HTML 5, I can develop interactive modules with synched voice-over with text, graphics and video that will work on everything from desktops to Android and Windows Mango, but won't run correctly on iOS.

      As a developer, if I have the choice between a software development company (MS), an advertising company (Google) and a consumer marketing and packaging company (Apple), I'm going the choose MS.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @tonymcs@... Not sure why you think Chrome can't run HTML/CSS off local drives. I do it all the time.
        BIGELLOW
      • The new Safari 5.1 is improvement in that part

        @tonymcs@...
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @tonymcs@...
        Well, you are not my developer then. I will not feed the Microsoft beast.
        root12
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @tonymcs@...
        I'm using FF because it is owned by a non profit organisation that belongs to nobody. All browsers are compliant to HTML, CSS and even Javascript differently. You just have to deal with it.
        ivanjee
      • RE: If you are one of the lucky people who uses Windows

        @tonymcs@...

        I think you have an error in that statement, as it should read (IMHO) <i>If you are one of the <b>un</b>lucky people who uses Windows ...</i>
        fatman65535
      • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

        @tonymcs@... consumer marketing and packaging company (Apple)

        Nice try: Apple is hardware/software company who excels at marketing.
        seeknosy@...
    • How so

      @JOSourcing In what way does Chrome blow the other out of the water? I think it is ugly and prefer Firefox. I assume you have another reason for liking chrome?
      deepee912
  • RE: Google Chrome continues its rapid rise, IE and Firefox fall

    Damned if I know why Safari use has increased, but I suspect that it might be from all of the iPads and iPhones. Nonetheless, as someone who owns an iPhone, iPad and iMac I believe that it is just awful. I much prefer FF.
    Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • As I said...

      @ptorning

      "Among other browsers, only Safari has been able to grow over the past year, creeping up roughly 2.6%, largely on the strength of growth in iOS devices. "

      There was virtually no share for Windows/Safari, and a flat or down share for Mac/Safari.
      Ed Bott