Chrome: The people's Web browser choice

Chrome: The people's Web browser choice

Summary: For a day, Google's Chrome was the most popular Web browser in the world. Before much longer it will be the most popular Web browser all the time.

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For a day, Chrome was the top Web browser in the world. It won't be the last time.

For a day, Chrome was the top Web browser in the world. It won

Yes. It's true. For one day, March 18th, 2012, Chrome, and not Internet Explorer (IE), was the most popular Web browser in the world. It won't be the last day. While the start of the work week put IE comfortably back on top. When users aren't chained to their desks, they're choosing to use Google's speedy Chrome.

StatCounter, the Web-site analytics company research arm StatCounter Global Stats found that Chrome was the number one browser in the world that day. StatCounter data comes fron over 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US) to the StatCounter network of more than three million websites

"While it is only one day, this is a milestone," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter's CEO in a statement. He added that Chrome still faces a battle to unseat its main rivals including IE and Firefox in many regions. While Chrome is often number one in Brazil, India, and Russia Chrome remains in 2nd or 3rd place in China, United States and Germany.

"Whether Chrome can take the lead in the browser wars in the long term remains to be seen, however the trend towards Chrome usage at weekends is undeniable. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE," concluded Cullen.

On the weekends, the people are turning to Chrome for their Web browsing.

On the weekends, people are turning to Chrome for their Web browsing.

IE use has been declining for years now. Indeed, if you look just at which particular version of a Web browser is the most popular, you'll see the most current edition of Chrome is the top single Web browser version. When it comes to mobile Web browsers, where Google's native Android browser recently moved up to number one, IE is a total non-starter.

Desktop, tablet, or smartphone, now that Chrome is also moving to mobile platforms as well, the people are speaking and they're saying that they want Chrome for their Web browser. The trend towards increased Chrome use over the weekend is clear. Chrome's speed and relatively better security is winning it fans by the day. Within a few months, Chrome will rule the weekend. Then, with the rise of the "bring your own device" (BYOD) movement, it seems that within a year or so Chrome, and not IE, will be the world's most popular Web browser all the time.

Web browser charts courtesy of StatCounter.

Related Stories:

Chrome was world's top browser - for a day

The number one mobile Web browser: Google's native Android browser

Web browser measurements changed and Google's Chrome rating suffers

Review: Chrome 17, faster than ever, more secure than ever.

Microsoft: IE 6 drops to below one percent in browser usage share in U.S.

Topics: Browser, Google, Microsoft

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38 comments
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  • Maybe, maybe not. With W8/IE10 we may see alot of people not bother switching

    browsers again. With IE10 being more secure and more html5/css compliant than chrome and absolutely spanking it in performance I wouldn't be surprised to see many not bother. That and the predicted much higher WP and W8 tablet growth in the next 3 years may leave IE on top or put it back there if it slips down before W8/WP share takes off. It will be interesting to see what things look like in 2015 :-)
    Johnny Vegas
    • Not really

      You forget that IE9 was also "superior in every way" to Firefox and Chrome, yet here we are and Chrome and Firefox are light years ahead. IE9's current HTML5 support is seriously lacking (I'm a web developer, so I know the limitations well). Its no where near as fast as Chrome or Firefox. Also, IE won't support some advanced tech, like WebGL, which is starting to become a big deal for web games.

      No, I don't see IE really becoming set in stone again. People will go with the browser that works, and IE just won't be that browser anytime soon. Not unless MS does rolling releases and seriously starts to consider using pre-standard web tech.
      superlinkx
    • depends

      on whether Windows 8 makes Windows phones any more popular than Windows Phone 7; on whether Windows tablets are a hit; on whether desktop Window 8 users without touch screens are significantly different than users of previous versions.

      MSFT's settlement with the EU which gave rise to BrowserChoice is still in force for Windows 8, isn't it? If so, and a user chooses something other than IE, does that mean IE10 both desktop AND Metro would need to be disabled? I could just see MSFT brazening out Chrome as the desktop browser (if a user so chose), but leaving IE10 in place as the Metro browser. More money for the lawyers.
      hrlngrv 
  • fanboi

    Please stop writing fanboi articles.
    owllnet
    • People aren't choosing Chrome for the reason SJVN believes

      (and I do mean [i]believe[/i]s as he has convinced himself of some pretty silly things).

      The only people that ask me about it is because someone tells them they should.
      it's like teen smoking - how many kids start becasue someone else told them they look cool doing it?

      Same here. I've been asked about Chrome from friends and family memeber because they've been told it stops viruses and things, not out of any disatisfaction with IE, Firefox, Safari, ect.
      William Farrel
      • "Stops viruses and things"? Like their current browser doesn't perhaps?

        Wanting to stop viruses sounds like "dissatisfaction" with their status quo to me.
        Zogg
      • Well, I use it

        I use Chrome because to me it seems cleaner, quicker, and more stable. Most "techie" people I know use Chrome or Firefox, people that have trouble loading programs on their PC use IE. Note, this is for "non-work" PCs.
        tbuccelli
      • Actually, a browser is a browser to them

        But what they see is Google advertising it on TV, and just "techie" friends saying to download it. The reasons vary, some make no sense.

        The virus thing was just one example. I get asked about all the browsers, programs, Apps ect.

        My point is that people are told to do things for various reasons, most I found are just plain lack of understanding on the other end.
        William Farrel
      • My main reason for choosing Chrome: usability, speed, security.

        I just like Chrome (IE is my #2). I like the interface better. If feels snappier both when launching it and when pulling up pages (regardless of javascript content) and I believe there is good reason to believe that it is more secure than IE or firefox. I say "more secure" intentionally. I believe you can attack any of them but that you have a bit of an edge with Chrome (at least for now). The ONLY place I ding Chrome is that regardless of the reason, it doesn't work as well on some websites as IE, mostly in minor ways. But 98% of the time I have no problem using Chrome.
        DevGuy_z
  • Chrome The peoples Web browser choice

    Kudos Chrome.
    daikon
  • I call bullshit.

    I called bullshit on someone else posting this earlier, the entire source of information is skewed, the sole source is [b]clients[/b] of StatCounter which would make a tiny portion of the web, what about this alternative but still as large competitor called MarketShare (http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0&qpcustomd=0) showing 53% share to IE? Don't believe companies that take a tiny demographic and push it as a global percentage, it simply doesn't work in this area for [b]many[/b] different reasons such as Tor not revealing browsers, most of Asia using Tor, most of Asia using pirate versions of Windows XP and IE 6 and then don't even get me started on South America. So how many South Americans and Asians do you think use StatCounter clients websites? I'd imagine the number is around the zero mark. Can you counter-argue one point I've made? I'd be very interested to hear it.
    c0ldfyr3_ie
    • You should have done more research first before ranting

      The site you referenced is from NetApplications, a company that gets their data by tracking a mere 40,000 websites. Statcounter tracks over 3 million sites from around the world. In other words, [i]Statcounter tracks nearly 100X more sites than NetApplications.[/i]

      I've been looking closely at this sort of data for years and have actually concluded that it was NetApplications data, rather than StatCounter, that was insufficient to give an accurate representation of the global browser usage picture. A large percentage of NetApplication's client traffic are from North American and from persons who speak English. That's not going to give you a true world picture, which is why NetApplication had to come up with algorithms to adjust what little global data they got based on the sizes of Internet populations in various countries. The problem is that Internet population size estimates are themselves inaccurate since they tend to measure the number of households with internet services in a country (as reported by the ISPs) rather than the total number of people who actually use the services.

      StatCounter's data has its own accuracy issues, since it measures page hits. But I've found that they gather enough data to at least illustrate the browser trends in most countries with much consistency. Unlike NetApplications, StatCounter is able to provide all users access to [i]daily information[/i] from each country out there. As far as I'm concerned, if your client sample can supply data about every country, right down to island nations, on a daily basis, you've got a healthy sample of global browser users, and the trends noted are more likely to be reliable. That's true of Statcounter, but not of NetApplications.

      Here's a sample of the page hits StatCounter get from around the world.

      http://gs.statcounter.com/StatCounterGlobalStatsMay10_SampleSizeCountryBreakdown.csv

      As you can see, South America and the various countries in Asia is very well represented in their database.
      Next time, don't [i]"imagine"[/i] data, [i]research it.[/i]
      eMJayy
  • A sad day

    So many people getting sucked into the Google spynet. How many people realise the degree of privacy they are giving up to use Google's "free" browser. If you really want an alternative to Firefox, Safari, or IE, at least use Chromium, not Chrome.
    jorjitop
    • Also not true.

      Run a TCP/UDP Sniffer and show me one packet that gets sent that doesn't get sent in Chromium, take off the tin hat!
      c0ldfyr3_ie
      • HINT: Read the EULA

        Then tell us if it is no true.
        wackoae
      • How does the EULA trump the actual packets being sent?

        Sounds like FUD to me.
        Zogg
  • Oh...

    ...groan. Get back to me when Google developers grow up and learn to listen to their users, and when they learn to do interface design. Don't you just LOVE the lack of a sidebar!
    runbei
    • Yes, I do

      Yes, I am happy w/o the sidebar and the ever changing location of favorites by IE.
      tbuccelli
  • statistics - tell me what you want and i will make that happen

    A very high percentage of BRIC population uses XP (pirated or otherwise). For them to use Chrome or Mozilla would be normal as nobody likes IE6 (including MS). How about more detailed analysis? Maybe OS and browser version together will paint a different picture?
    Anyhow we are getting to the point where we will land with almost equal market share for the 3 major browsers. and that will keep things fresh for us consumers.
    waasoo
  • The people's choice? is that like the same choice they "took"

    when installing Adobe reader or something, where if you didn't "opt-out", Google desktop was loaded onto your system?

    Does Chrome get installed like this with things like Gmail or other software?
    William Farrel