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Chrome rapidly catching up to Firefox

Google ChromeGoogle’s Chrome web browser has only been around for two years, but with an almost frantic pace of development it’s already gone through more iterations in that brief time than many other software products do in a decade. Chrome is now up to version 6, and has a rapidly increasing share of the web browser market. It’s now in third place after Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Before Chrome arrived, Mozilla’s Firefox was the darling of the techie crowd (and in many regards it still is, but Chrome is a great, looming shadow on the horizon). Now, Firefox growth has flatlined. It’s still by far the largest web browser after Internet Explorer, but it’s no longer gaining market share.

Browser market share, September 2009 vs. September 2010

The above chart makes several things abundantly clear about the browser market:

  • Internet Explorer is losing market share (as it has been ever since Firefox arrived in 2004).
  • Firefox is neither growing nor losing market share.
  • Chrome has more than tripled its market share in the last year. It’s growing much faster than any other browser.

And there are additional signs that Chrome is quickly becoming a big player.

Mindshare catching up even faster

Market share is one thing, but people are getting more and more interested in Chrome. It’s gaining mindshare even faster than it’s gaining market share, which bodes well for Chrome’s future.

Interest in Chrome vs. Firefox:

Search interest for Chrome and Firefox
Source: Google Insights for Search.

When it comes to establishing mindshare, Google has a huge advantage over Mozilla. They own not just one, but several of the world’s largest web properties, and they have frequently been advertising Chrome on sites like YouTube and the Google Search homepage (Google.com). We’re not trying to belittle what Google has done with Chrome, it’s an excellent browser, but with Google pushing it on its own sites, Chrome has one heck of a home field advantage.

Looks like we’re heading right into a new browser war, with IE, Firefox and Chrome duking it out in the top. Next year is going to be interesting.



7 comments
Martin
Martin

I'll bet the far majority of the increase is due to the mobile market and Android phones all running Chrome as the default browser.

Martin
Martin

it would be interesting to see migration patterns, as to discern how users move in between browsers. I would think that Chrome users mainly switched from Firefox, but Firefox was able to maintain marketshare by primarily getting users to switch from IE…

Sid
Sid

They are spending a lot of money promoting chrome too. Here in india there was a full page ad about Google chrome last week on India's largest English daily - the times of india

tron
tron

I think the search trend plot is a bit skewed---with two similarly-named products, some of the blue line can be accounted for by Chrome OS.

OP
OP

The big question for me is how long will Google continue to fund Mozilla with the search revenue gained from Firefox?

Rafael
Rafael

It's very bad to have only three top rendering engines... The web will stay boring next year, these browsers never really innovate like Opera does.

Pingdom
Pingdom

@Martin: Mobile versions are not included in these stats, so it's pure desktop Chrome.

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