It’s been only a couple of months (exact to this day) that Google released their free web browser – the shiny new Chrome (puns intended). Each product or service launch from Google is followed by a flurry of activity on the web – tons of web pages and blog posts. And why not? – Google is a famous and well respected (and well loved) company.
But why have they developed a web browser when they already support Firefox? Does Google really think the world is ready for yet another web browser? And how will Chrome be accepted? Will Google’s clout and power help the Chrome browser gain sudden fame in the web community? Will web developers choose the new browser over the old Firefox or Internet Explorer?
I thought to wait for a few days and watch how things take shape. Below are Chrome stats that I saw for this site on Google Analytics. I find these numbers astonishing!
Please remember that the Chrome usage statistics presented are from visitors to this web site. These would probably be different for your web site and would most certainly differ from the industry average. This is because my web site caters to a specific audience – web developers – who skew the statistics; for example, showing a greater proclivity towards Firefox.
Yes, Firefox is not a Google product; we all know that. But the company put in a lot of effort in promoting this web browser by including it in two of their products – the free software pack (the Google Pack) and Adsense. The web browser was touted as being far superior to Internet Explore especially on privacy and web security issues.
I suppose it was the inclusion of Firefox in the Adsense referral Product list that led to a tremendous increase in its user base. Adsense publishers found a good revenue source in Firefox because each download and installation from the referral link earned the them a dollar. This was indeed a great way to reach thousands of publishers who in turn projected (and pushed) Firefox thousands of web surfers.
However, now that Google has its very own web browser, what does it plan to do with Firefox? Did it have an agreement with Mozilla to promote and market their open source browser for a specified period?
FYI, Firefox is still a part of the Google Pack software bundle while Chrome is missing. This is kind of strange because Skype and Google Talk are two overlapping products in the Google Pack. Why can’t the two browsers co-exist in the software collection? Is it because they overlap much more than the communications tools?
UPDATE – December 20, 2008: Chrome has now been included in the Google Pack software collection.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Chrome figure in the browsers list on the very first day of launch. Though, on the 2nd of September only 1% visitors to this web site were using Chrome, this number jumped to more than double after a couple of days! Chrome was being adopted fairly quickly. In the first two months of its launch, a tad more than 2.5% visitors to this web site are using Google Chrome. This might seem like a small percentage… right? But know this – Chrome beat Opera numbers in the very first month!
Since Chrome has been released only for the Windows platform, let us see how its launch has impacted other Windows based web browsers. FYI, Chrome is now available vfor Macs and Linux systems too!
Before the advent of Chrome, the usage of Internet Explorer and Firefox were showing a steady decrease and an increase, respectively. However, in the month of September, the Firefox line suddenly dips. What does this mean? An interesting (and maybe a tongue-in-cheek) conclusion – Chrome has been primarily adopted by Firefox (Windows) users. So instead of denting Internet Explorer, Chrome has actually eaten into Firefox market share – a self-cannibalization by Google?
Statistics from two well-known aggregators, StatCounter and NetMarketShare, show that more than 10% or people use the Chrome web browser globally. That’s an awesome feat for a newly launched program especially when the market is very competitive.
Having used Google Chrome for more than 2 years now, I have no doubts in crowing it the best web browser in the world.
I was travelling on the 2nd of September and downloaded and installed Chrome a couple of weeks later. However, after checking it out quickly, I forgot about it. Matt Cutts article prompted me to start using Chrome on a regular basis. And in a couple of days I was in love with it!
OK, it wasn’t love at first sight but it was a browser I always wanted. No distracting icons, no logo, not even a status bar. Just the three important buttons near the top left – Back, Forward and Refresh. The menu tools and settings options can be viewed on clicking the wrench icon.
Web developers, like myself, will find this browser specially helpful when coding and testing web pages. The Inspect Element feature gives a full “biodata” of the web page element. What more does a developer need?
Not only have I found Chrome faster, its also a safer browser (when I compare with Internet Explorer). For instance, on one particular web site, the Chrome screen changed to a deep red color and displayed a malware warning – check image below.
Here is how the homepage of this web site looks in Google Chrome:
You can have Google Chrome in a few minutes; check how to download and install Google Chrome for step-by-step instructions.
According to the official Google blog,
Chrome has reached more than 10 million active users worldwide (“on all seven continents, no less“). Chrome was launched as a beta software and this tag was removed at the fifteenth release on the 11th of December 2008. I suppose it was also included in the Google software pack on that day.
Matt Cutts, ardent promoter of Chrome, reports 5.11% share of the web browser in a blog post. This are unusually high numbers for the new browser but are kind of expected for Matt’s site. If my web site can get a shade less than 3% visitors using Chrome, the 5.11% from Mr. Cutts is no surprise. After all he’s the one who convinced me in setting Chrome as the default on my system; and I take this opportunity to extend my thanks.
It’s only natural that web sites targeting web developers and designers, will show a higher Chrome usage in their statistics. However, Chrome numbers are not so rosy if one takes worldwide data – but even so, a remarkable job for a new browser.
As of November 2008, OneStat.com reports a 0.54% global share of Chrome. they also provide a country-wise breakup of this average.
|Country||% Chrome usage|
Unfortunately, OneStat.com has no figures for India and this saddens me (kind of) because the country comes up at the top on Google Trends for Chrome (Google Chrome) searches.
Below are Chrome usage statistics from other data gatherers.
|Service||% Chrome usage reported|
|Net Applications||0.81 (2008 Q4)|
|W3Schools||3.1% (Nov 2008)|
Chrome shows the biggest jump this month since launch. Again, based on the decrease in Firefox and almost equivalent increase in Internet Explorer, I still think that most Chrome users are those who have shifted from Firefox. Chrome’s usage is more than twice that of Opera and I think its going to play a good role in the browser war of the future.
An interesting point certainly – while going over the usage statistics of Windows based web browsers for the past 12 months, I noticed that shares of both Internet Explorer and Firefox have decreased. So who eats that slice? Google Chrome (obviously) and Apple Safari (surprise).
I wouldn’t forget my beloved browser’s anniversary – Google’s Chrome completed 1 year on the second of this month. Though I was not one of the “first-day” adopters (was travelling, you see), it got me hooked quickly. Guess there are many others like me who’ve appreciated the simple and clean interface of Chrome because its usage continues to grow in leaps and bounds. With the launch of beta versions for Mac and Linux, Chrome will leave Safari and Opera far behind and start targeting Firefox.
The ever ascending Chrome usage graph just proves one thing – an excellent software from a reputed company will manage to make decent inroads in a super-saturated market. It’s now the third most popular web browser leaving Safari and Opera far behind.
Google Chrome is the only web browser to have shown a decent bit of growth this month (on the Windows platform). All it’s competitors have either remained flat or decreased! Go Chrome!
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