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Google Chrome Overtakes Firefox

Microsoft's Internet Explorer still has largest share of market, but Google's browser shows strong growth.

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Google's effort to get more people to use its Chrome browser has been paying off. For the first time, Chrome usage worldwide has surpassed Firefox usage, according to Internet metrics company StatCounter.

Chrome's share of the worldwide browser market in November reached 25.69%, an increase of 4.66% from a year earlier. Firefox came in at 25.23% while Microsoft Internet Explorer, in its various versions, totaled 40.63%.

StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen stressed that his firm's statistics measure usage rather than downloads and noted that Chrome had become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally.

The numbers Google has reported suggest Chrome's usage gains should be even more significant: In May, Google said it had 160 million Chrome users and in October, it said Chrome had reached 200 million users, an increase of 25% in just five months.

[ Google's year in review. Read Google's Daring Dozen: 12 Big Bets In 2011. ]

But NetApplication's assessment of the world browser market shows more modest gains for Chrome. In January, Chrome had 11.15% global market share. In November, Chrome reached 18.18%. Firefox meanwhile slipped slight to 22.14%, having started the year at 23.72%.

Whichever figures one uses, the trend suggests that Mozilla's Firefox marketing, which has stressed the virtuous, community-oriented nature of Firefox, is being overshadowed by the brand strength and distribution power of Google.

Microsoft meanwhile is feting Internet Explorer 9's increased adoption as the leading browser on Windows 7 worldwide.

"According to Net Applications, IE9 usage share on Windows 7 worldwide is now higher than all versions of Chrome and all versions of Firefox--second only to IE8," declared Roger Capriotti, director of Microsoft's Internet Explorer product marketing team in a blog post. "That's great news for consumers and developers alike who can benefit from the richer Web experiences and standards support in IE9!"

However, that's a fairly limited frame of reference. If you look beyond browser usage on Windows 7, Chrome is ahead of IE 9 using NetApplication's numbers. This isn't particularly surprising given Internet Explorer's absence from the Mac and Linux markets.

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User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 1:57:32 PM
re: Google Chrome Overtakes Firefox
i am running Chrome and Firefox on Ubuntu 10.10. Chrome crashes repeatedly. i do like it moreso than Firefox but the crashing is redundantly pissifying.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2011 | 6:56:57 PM
re: Google Chrome Overtakes Firefox
I have become increasingly disheartened by Firefox, specifically regarding their inability to keep extensions apace with their latest browser offerings. Firefox doesn't get the very dynamics that which placed them on the cutting edge of browser technology, market penetration in the first place, that is, it's the extensions, stupid. Some of us become very attached to extensions that once having gotten used to can not live without. I once would pounce on the latest Firefox release but eventually realized there was no point in updating to the latest versions if the extensions that make Firefox so convenient, user friendly don't work, which explains why I still use Firefox version 3.6.8. This among other serious issues such as memory usage have made me turn to Chrome more and more.

Sensi says it best.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2011 | 7:42:39 PM
re: Google Chrome Overtakes Firefox
I agree with Sensi. Firefox did themselves a disservice when they switched to their rapid update schedule. I stopped using FF and switched to Chrome when my favorite plugins stopped working and by the time the plugin developers updated their code, Firefox would be on another version and the plugin would stop working again. At least with Chrome updates do not seem to break the functionality of the add-ons.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/1/2011 | 7:26:20 PM
re: Google Chrome Overtakes Firefox
"the trend suggests that Mozilla's Firefox marketing, which has stressed the virtuous, community-oriented nature of Firefox, is being overshadowed by the brand strength and distribution power of Google."

Well, it mostly shows that a browser which has become -in my daily experience- unstable, between others things like a misguided versioning policy (Firefox went from version 3.x to 8 under a year), is getting years old users and professional pretty annoyed. I have switched to Chrome precisely because it was -more- stable, while Firefox and some must-have addons weren't anymore. This said I do hope that they will get their mojo back.
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