Chrome overtakes Firefox in UK browser share

Chrome is fast approaching Internet Explorer, which still holds the top browser share spot worldwide, as it overtakes Firefox for second place.

Chrome has overtaken Firefox as the most popular browser among UK web users.

Second only to Internet Explorer, whose users have been labelled this week as "stupid",  Chrome has just pinched a whole percent higher than Firefox, and  is expected to grow even further.

The EU browser ballot screen has had a major impact on the browser choice of many within the European zone.

Around 200 million users in Europe were presented with a required update to Windows last year to allow a 'browser ballot' screen to be displayed, giving users the choice of browser away from the traditional Internet Explorer option.

The result of the anti-trust settlement against Microsoft by the European Commission opened the floodgates for browser choice -- to browsers that many users had previously known even existed.

Before this, however, Firefox was the 'obvious' choice for users who wanted to diverge away from pre-installed Internet Explorer, and also offered reprieve for the anti-Safari Mac user. Firefox was all but the only web browser for Linux users.

Opera, the long forgotten browser, though still ever popular with the mobile market, had its users doubled in a three-day period last year, attributable to the browser ballot.

But what is holding Chrome and Firefox back alike is the lack of enterprise support.

Internet Explorer has long been a crucial element to Windows with a strong enterprise focus; being widely customisable through group policy and enterprise rules. Chrome, however, is designed all but entirely for the consumer market -- with synchronisable favourites, applications, add-ins and bookmarks.

Though Chrome does not come in an updatable format on the face of it, many users are put off with the need to 'keep installing' Firefox, from version 4 through to future 8, with only a few weeks in between. Chrome updates in the background without user input, so users are automatically up to date.

The Guardian has a simpler explanation. Speaking to one of Chrome's engineers, Lars Bak says that speed is a "fundamental part" of Chrome's popularity, along with pre-installed security features and the clean and simple design.

Though figures are yet not available for the U.S. market, one can bet money that Chrome's figures are on the scale of unstoppable. Just as Google has done for search, it only makes sense for it to do the same with the browsing experience, too.

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