latest report from NetMarketShare puts Chrome at 6.73% market share, ahead of Safari on 4.72% and behind only IE (59.95%) and Firefox (24.59%).Google Chrome has had a big impact on the browser market since its release in September 2008. The
What's more interesting about Chrome is the activity it's enjoying from early adopters and geeks. Our own browser statistics at ReadWriteWeb show that Chrome was used by 17.89% of our readers in April, putting it behind only Firefox (38.95%) and IE (24.76%). Further, our figures show a very clear movement from Firefox to Chrome over the past year. Chrome has gained nearly 11% over the past year, whereas Firefox has lost over 15%.
IE has stayed stable on our site over the past year, registering no change from its 24% in April 2009. Take a look at our comparison stats, via Google Analytics:
I can also tell you that many of ReadWriteWeb's staff now use Chrome. I myself made the switch as soon as a (relatively) stable Mac version became available in 2009, primarily because I had been experiencing slowness and crashes in Firefox for months prior. I've never looked back - sorry Mozilla. Chrome is fast, hardly ever crashes and can handle multiple tabs with ease. It does the job. The only thing I still use Firefox for is, ironically, offline Gmail! That's because on a Mac, Google Gears is only available on Firefox and Safari - not Chrome.
Before I get assailed by Firefox fans in the comments, granted the much larger NetMarketShare stats show a couple of percentage points of growth for Firefox over the past year. They also show IE losing over 8% share and Chrome gaining over 4%.
However, even NetMarketShare's stats show that Firefox's real battle is not with Microsoft's IE anymore (whose downward slide is inevitable and long overdue), but with Google's Chrome.
It's not just on the statistics and performance fronts either. Google is now directly attacking Firefox's main strength from a developer point of view: its ecosystem of add-ons. At the Google I/O event earlier this month, Google announced an application store to help with discovery and sales of Web applications. Some startups have already moved focus from the add-on model to a web site or app (e.g. GetGlue), so Google's App Store will only accelerate this.
Yesterday we reported that the beta tag for Google's Chrome browser has been removed for the Mac and Linux versions. Is that also a sign that the gloves are now off too? Chrome is now a 'serious' browser, no beta tags and all OS's covered with stable versions.
Overall I can't help but think that Chrome is really hitting at the heart of Firefox nowadays. The early adopter and geeky readership of ReadWriteWeb - bless you all - is often a forerunner of future mainstream trends. And our stats clearly show our readers are moving away from Firefox and largely onto Chrome. How long before the mainstream follows?