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Chrome Becoming World's Second Most Popular Web Browser 511

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-stop-hijacking-my-middle-click dept.
redletterdave writes with news that Google Chrome is in the process of surpassing Firefox to become the second most popular web browser. Pinpointing the exact time of the change is difficult, of course, since different analytics firms collect slightly different data. The current crop of media reports were triggered by data from StatCounter, which shows Chrome at 25.69% and Firefox at 25.23% for November. Data from Net Applications shows Firefox still holding a 4% lead, but the trends suggest it will evaporate within a few months.
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Chrome Becoming World's Second Most Popular Web Browser

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  • And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bwintx (813768) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:58AM (#38238196)
    And still Mozilla doesn't get a clue that some of the recent changes are driving away users. Amazing.
    • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:01PM (#38238258)

      Chrome today is what the early releases of Firefix were: a lean, fast browser with a stripped down UI.
      Firefox has become a bloated piece of garbage.

      • by Jahf (21968)

        +1 to this, and I was a Firefox / Mozilla / Netscape user since the days of beta 14 (ie, 1994/1995).

        Chrome simply does what I want faster and better.

        Thanks to the Mozilla-heads for so many years of goodness. I'll even look at you again some day ... but not under the current direction.

      • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday December 02, 2011 @03:14PM (#38241382)

        And yet some users (like myself) still prefer Firefox because that bloated garbage actually translates into useful features. Firefox is still the best browser in terms of customizability and (consequently) respecting users' privacy.

        As far as I see, Firefox and Chrome occupy different niches - Chrome for more of a lean, one-size-fits-all approach, and Firefox for a more custom browsing experience (which, in my opinion is what makes it great). I know that Chrome has come a ways with some of the essentials like script- and ad-blockers, but Firefox still has the edge. While I'm sad to see that more users choose Chrome than FF, it doesn't mean that the most popular browser is the best. If that were the case, IE would still be king.

        Though it still annoys me to no end that Firefox can take 700MB on memory. On this machine with only 1GB of RAM, that's pretty serious. But it's still worth it IMO. I'll be upgrading soon anyways

      • Re:And still... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Björn (4836) * on Friday December 02, 2011 @04:14PM (#38242302)
        Not true. Firefox is rather lean when it comes to memory use, and Chrome is actually somewhat poor. There are many comparisons available on-line, and the ones I have seen all come to that conclusion.

        Here is one on Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/firefox-chrome-opera,2558-4.html [tomshardware.com]

        When comparing ten tabs the article states. "The big surprise here is Opera's and Chrome's poor showing in the multi-tab tests. Overall, Firefox delivers the best memory usage results. It comes in first place for the five- and ten-tab usage tests, but fourth in the single-tab metric."
    • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:02PM (#38238276)

      And still Mozilla doesn't get a clue that some of the recent changes are driving away users. Amazing.

      Every time Chrome gains market share, the Firefox developers think they need to make Firefox more like Chrome, when that's exactly what's driving people away.

      • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pope (17780) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:08PM (#38238342)

        Every time Chrome gains market share, the Firefox developers think they need to make Firefox more like Chrome, when that's exactly what's driving people away.

        Took the words right out of my mouth. Firefox devs' biggest problem is that they're duplicating Chrome's interface without any reflection or realization of why Chrome does things a certain way.

        • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Millennium (2451) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:14PM (#38238460) Homepage

          Pretty much this. That's not to say that Chrome is bad: it isn't. But Firefox is trying to be Chrome, and no one is ever going to be better at being Chrome better than Chrome itself (except possibly Chromium, but that's something of an academic debate).

          In the process, Firefox is rapidly losing its own way. This is a shame, because I found more than a few of Firefox's old ways better than its new ones, or Chrome's for that matter. We're losing choice in the browser market because it's coming down not so much to a choice between Chrome and Firefox as between Chrome and imitation-Chrome, and Chrome will always win that.

          tl;dr version - Firefox lost its way when it started imitating other browsers, because it will never be able to beat the originals. It must instead become its own original, as it once was.

      • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cockroach2 (117475) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:18PM (#38238550) Homepage

        Yet the only thing they really need to copy to get me to come back and try Firefox again is to replace the 13-click procedure for broken SSL certificates with a simple pop-up window. As it used to be.

        • Try Perspectives (Score:5, Informative)

          by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:04PM (#38239406) Homepage Journal

          they really need [...] to replace the 13-click procedure for broken SSL certificates with a simple pop-up window.

          Most people will just click past a broken certificate even when it's an obvious man in the middle (MITM) attack because they want to see the dancing bunnies [wikipedia.org].

          But there's an extension for that, and it's called Perspectives. A browser with the Perspectives extension communicates with notaries scattered throughout the Internet to make sure that the certificate you see is the same certificate that other people have been seeing. The one weakness happens when the MITM is between the SSL server and its only connection to the Internet, but the Perspectives developers appear to operate under the assumption what the whitepaper [wordpress.com] calls an "Lserver attack" won't happen often.

        • Re:And still... (Score:4, Informative)

          by DeadboltX (751907) on Friday December 02, 2011 @06:07PM (#38244252)

          Yet the only thing they really need to copy to get me to come back and try Firefox again is to replace the 13-click procedure for broken SSL certificates with a simple pop-up window. As it used to be.

          You open a page with an invalid certificate:
          1) click "I understand the risks"
          2) click "add exception"
          3) click "confirm exception"

          I'm not sure where you're extra 10 clicks are coming from.

      • Google has funded the mozilla foundation for years, it is likely that they have become tied to them. So it's not FF vs Chrome, it's FF and then Chrome.

        Which might explain the problems in FF leadership better than "They went nuts all of a sudden".

        FF has the edge with extensions. IE with the OEM installation, Chrome with the speed and google brand.
        FF is forfeiting extensions, that's suicide, if we suppose they are completely independent from google. My bet is they are not.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        Maybe the kewl kids just decided Chrome is more kewl this season, and Mozilla should actually just care even less?

        It is open source, it is not a product, who cares if a some people switched? They're not going to get their $0.00 from those users?! Oh noes!

        Are they happy now? If so, great!

        Most of them will be back next month, anyways.

    • Re:And still... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:07PM (#38238338) Homepage Journal

      I think Mozilla is very happy with the stats, because the real news is that the IE usage went down to almost ~50%, and we have today a diversity of browser (engines). Diversity ensures that we don't drive into a dead end, and Mozilla paved the way for alternative browsers, pushing websites away from IE-only design, and making the new technologies we have today possible (CSS, everything beyond HTML4, fast JS) -- although we have to give Microsoft credit for inventing Ajax.

      • by Onymous Coward (97719) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:36PM (#38238894) Homepage

        Diversity ensures that we don't drive into a dead end, and Mozilla paved the way for alternative browsers, pushing websites away from IE-only design, and making the new technologies we have today possible

        Exactly. Their main objective at the outset was to "take back the web". The shape of this graph, where it comes back from monopoly around 2004, is because of Firefox. We all have good reason to be thankful.

        Microsoft's stranglehold on the market let them define the standards including not make any progress for 5 damned years. Stuck with cross-browser incompatibilities, stuck without technological progress or many of the features we take for granted these days, stuck with a browser that got everyone's system hacked and ate up countless geek hours with reinstalls. Man, what a nightmare.

        And it wasn't just Microsoft's fault. It was also the fault of the users who did not opt for a heterogeneous browser ecosystem. Granted, it's a lot to ask the average person to defend a "heterogeneous browser ecosystem", but at least the geeks (and epidemiologists) should get it. And if you don't, let me spell it out for you: Don't push us towards browser monoculture . Not again, please. That sucked.

        • by Arrepiadd (688829)

          It was also the fault of the users who did not opt for a heterogeneous browser ecosystem. Granted, it's a lot to ask the average person to defend a "heterogeneous browser ecosystem", but at least the geeks (and epidemiologists) should get it.

          While I do get it (I'm more on the geek side here), we should put things into (historical) perspective.

          The first browser I used must have been Netscape 2.x, back in 1996 when I first got a modem. I never lived in the US and paid web access per minute, there was no sort of flat-rate where I was. I remember downloading Netscape Communicator when it first came out (my machine was still on Windows 3.1) and I basically started the download at the end of the evening and woke up around 5 am to go turn off the mode

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by chispito (1870390)

        I think Mozilla is very happy with the stats, because the real news is that the IE usage went down to almost ~50%, and we have today a diversity of browser (engines).

        Despite what you might think, I'm pretty sure Mozilla is interested in more than just sticking it to MS.

        • by Aighearach (97333)

          The Browser Wars were about choice, not about "sticking it to" anybody. And yes, choice proves victory.

    • by markdavis (642305)

      +1000

      You hit it right on the head. I have zero interest in Chrome, mostly because I simply don't trust it. Google has WAY too much access to stuff already. At least with Chromium, it is open.

      But Chrome/Chromium follow a design that is exactly what I don't want- dumbed down, minimalist, single-user oriented. The more Firefox because like Chrome, the more angry I get.

    • Re:And still... (Score:5, Informative)

      by 9jack9 (607686) on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:48PM (#38240090)

      And still Mozilla doesn't get a clue that some of the recent changes are driving away users

      Actually, I switched BACK to Firefox during this last year from several years of Chrome recently, and I couldn't be happier. Extensions have been a big part of that. So have the recent changes.

      Noscript and Ghoster have shown me how truly pervasive Google is. The majority of websites that I ever visit run some sort of Google scripting. I'm not being a hater here. I like Google. That aren't evil, right? I just like having some control. Or at least the illusion of it. And I know, Mozilla gets funding from Google. I hope that doesn't mean that FF reports every click back to the Google mothership, but you never know.

      I also run Chrome, IE, and Opera, but of the bunch, I'm the happiest with Firefox.

      • Firefox does not likely report any click, but if you look up in the preferences there is something like: block reported attacks, forgeries.
        Now, to block them the browser must either download a blacklist or upload the site who one is about to visit to a central server to have it checked. I guess it's the second one. There is potential for abuse even if it would mean risking the end of mozilla foundation and a fork in a matter of months.

    • Firefox started to whip the butt of IE because it was a small, light, fast and supported the standards well browser. Then over time and got more and more stuff, and and now is considered Large, bulky, slow, that is behind some of the standards browser. And Chrome is the new small and light one.
      I figure next month for Firefox 29 they will put in the email client and rename it again to Netscape Navigator 4
  • Inevitable. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fantazem (466353) <beseb@masterofdragons.com> on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:58AM (#38238198)
    I think this was inevitable given how much better Chrome is then all the competition. Once Chrome gets the breadth of plugins that Firefox has, it's game over.
  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:58AM (#38238202)

    Does that include Comodo Dragon as "Chrome" since it based on Chrome?

    I've been very happy with Dragon. Whether it really is more secure or not I don't know.

    Used to use Firefox- prefer Dragon now.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:01PM (#38238256)

    With the way things have been going for firefox, it was a matter of time, not competition. The community said they wanted a swing and the firefox team has consistently provided a tire. I get that firefox is open source and they don't have the resources of google or microsoft, but still for a long time they were extremely competitive. What happened? My guess is they either stopped caring about anybody actually using firefox for anything reliable and began toying with the source, or senior developers left the project and were replaced by monkeys.

    I actually had a chat on slashdot with a developer of ff. The guy was so disillusioned towards why would people ever have expectations of an open source project and he can do wtf he wants cause he's not getting paid to do it. Well he's right, but what will he do when nobody is using firefox anymore?

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      (firefox)...for a long time they were extremely competitive

      Firefox had gotten to a point of maturity and very high popularity. It's easy to become complacent at that point.

      What do you do when you have a mature and stable product? There are a lot of directions you can go, and in a commercial product those directions are usually set by people in the marketing and product owner roles. Marketing/sales give feedback as to what they believe will be important to the customer. The product owner is responsible for deciding what to implement and in what timeline - the produc

    • What happened? My guess is they either stopped caring about anybody actually using firefox for anything reliable and began toying with the source

      Hi, I'm a developer at Mozilla. That part is certainly not true - but it is an amusing thought ;) All of our meeting notes are open (for example [mozilla.org]), you can see our discussions on IRC, etc., so you don't need to speculate on this or to just take my word for it. You can read everything we say as we build Firefox.

      or senior developers left the project

      Also definitely not true.

      and were replaced by monkeys.

      I'm pretty sure that one is not true either ;)

      I actually had a chat on slashdot with a developer of ff. The guy was so disillusioned towards why would people ever have expectations of an open source project and he can do wtf he wants cause he's not getting paid to do it. Well he's right, but what will he do when nobody is using firefox anymore?

      There are a lot of people that do get paid to work on Firefox. The Firefox dev community is an interesting mix between paid people

  • by lsolano (398432) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:04PM (#38238304)

    I'm not saying that Chrome is not a good browser, but, what happened IMHO is not that Chrome is getting better, instead, FF is getting worse every day.

    I do not know how the Flash Plugin in a browser can suddenly take the 90% of a i7 CPU.

    FF people forgot what made them succeed: simplicity.

    • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:07PM (#38238336) Homepage
      Yes, particularly FF on Linux. It used to worked great, but in the last 6 months or so, after a few hours of use, FF maxes up my memory and CPU and starts crawling in molasses. Never had the problem before. A kill/restart fixes it but it's a PITA. Chrome is so much faster.
      • by markdavis (642305)

        I *never* used to have crashes in Firefox in Linux until version 5 came out. And there has been ZERO improvement with 6, 7, and now 8, as far as crashing goes. Sometimes I can go for days, other times, it can have a fit and crash several times in a day, even in a row.

        I think memory usage was silly high in 3 and 4 and hasn't changed much with 5/6/7/8. It is not a problem if you start the browser every day, but on systems where you leave it running for days, it can get crazy (if it doesn't crash first).

        I w

        • And yet I have the pretty much the reverse experience with FF on ubuntu. I leave it running for weeks at a time. I even run multiple copies - not just multiple windows, but completely separate profiles for specific tasks. And with every iteration its become more stable and more efficient, or at least no worse than before, even with roughly 20 extensions installed in my main profile. I used to regularly run into swap on my 4GB system due to having 100+ tabs open. That hasn't happened for a couple of m

        • by BZ (40346)

          Would you mind looking at about:crashes in your browser and either sending me the links directly (bz at mit dot edu) or putting them in a comment here? Or are you running a version provided by your distribution that doesn't include the crash reporter?

  • by birukun (145245) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:06PM (#38238320)

    We are constantly removing Chrome from the software packages that are bundling it. Kind of a turnoff for me.

    Just like getting a new PC with all the trialware crap.

  • Déjà vu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:09PM (#38238354) Homepage

    When Firefox appeared on the scene, it gave Microsoft the kick up the arse it needed to improve their crappy, aging browser.

    When Chrome appeared on the scene, it gave Mozilla the kick up the arse it needed to improve their crappy, aging browser.

    It'll be interesting to see if the same thing happens in a few years with IE.

    • When Firefox appeared on the scene, it gave Microsoft the kick up the arse it needed to improve their crappy, aging browser.

      Yep.

      When Chrome appeared on the scene, it gave Mozilla the kick up the arse it needed to improve their crappy, aging browser.

      Nope. Here's the difference: when Microsoft got its kick, they actually started doing new things with IE. They didn't try to become Firefox. Sure, they took some ideas that were in wide use in all other browsers, like tabbed browsing, but they're mostly their own thing. When Mozilla got its kick, it decided that it needed to become Chrome. That's a losing strategy, because there already is a Chrome. If I liked Chrome, I'd be using it. I kept Firefox because I disliked Chrome, and every new relea

  • by danielcolchete (1088383) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:10PM (#38238372)
    Do you know what changed between FF4 and FF10? Almost nothing! Really! From FF6 to FF10 it is nothing for sure. But they managed to break addon compability 7 times in between. So, from what I understood, we were going to have releases from often so that we could get more features more frequently. We got nothing! Or almost nothing. I jumped of from FF6 to Chrome and I lived happily ever after. By the way, 5% of the Internet users are stuck with the outdated FF3.6 today, without the HTML5 advances of FF4 and FF6, because of this new release process. It is as if we need another browser vendor holding the web back. Thank you Mozilla.
  • by bjdevil66 (583941) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:23PM (#38238642)
    Google's views on privacy. Maybe my view is born of ignorance about what Chrome actually does track vs. doesn't track, but as of now I just can't trust them enough to use that browser all the time. I can't get past the, "Just don't do anything wrong..." comments by the Google leadership a while back.
    • by fish waffle (179067) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:57PM (#38239288)
      According to wikipedia at least, there is only one fully non-optional point at which chrome contacts its masters, and that's a unique token generated during install to count unique installs. After that you can avoid any info being sent back to google by turning off settings for instant search, not agreeing to send crash reports, not using google search, disabling auto-updates, and never mistyping a page name and getting a server not found error. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome#Usage_tracking [wikipedia.org]

      It is more effort than is required with FF, and although they've _promised_ not to be evil it is wise to be wary of evolving intentions and what will become of all the info they collect. But note that use of instant google search and auto-suggest and the safe-search settings send info to google when using FF as well, so that's not much different.
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:29PM (#38238748)
    I trust Firefox with my privacy rights more than I trust Google, which is simply an advertising company.
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:29PM (#38238762) Homepage Journal
    To me what is more interesting here is what is happening with the engines and how OSS is forcing innovation. I have used browsers based on the Gecko engine for many years. Lately the browsers based on this engine has become less reliable, but that did not mean that I went to the proprietary Presto engine, even though it is no longer the garbage scow that it was before Mozilla forced MS to provide users with a decent MS Windows browser. No, I am using the Webkit engine more in the guise of Chrome and Safari. of course these two browsers, like IE, are targeted to promoting commercial concerns rather than providing the user with maximum configuration options(for instance my browser comes with flashblock built in, chrome blocking of third party cookies is hidden under a vague button in the preferences) so my primary is still Gecko based though it is not ideal.
  • Adblock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NYYz (1063406) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:30PM (#38238778)
    I like Chrome, but until Adblock works as well as it does on Firefox I'm not interested. I'm not willing to watch Youtube commercials.
    • by cornface (900179)

      Also a version of Noscript that isn't garbage. Because the attempts at cloning it that exist are garbage.

  • Screw them both (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJ Jones (997846) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:47PM (#38239124) Homepage
    I switched to Opera just 2 days ago and it blew my mind. It's fast, lightweight and does everything you need and nothing more. It's what firefox used to be before it jumped the shark.
  • Konquering the world (Score:4, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:52PM (#38239226)
    I always liked KDE Konqueror browser, but never thought that it would supplant Firefox - albeit by a different name.
  • by GrBear (63712) on Friday December 02, 2011 @01:30PM (#38239774)

    Seriously, as an IT manager, I've been replacing more and more installs of Firefox with Chrome due to features broken in each new Firefox release.

    Our company uses several SaaS applications, and when basic javascript functionality is broken, we still need to get on with business.

    Hell, MLS.COM after 4 major Firefox releases STILL doesn't work (used to), and I've filed a report each version. Just stupid shit that the devs shovel another bullet point onto a feature list, and be damned if it breaks other stuff. Fast and stable, Firefox's two features that made it king, are now dead and buried.

  • For example, this line from my web access log:

    124.82.44.82 - - [02/Dec/2011:03:22:20 -0500] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 200 247 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/535.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/15.0.874.121 Safari/535.2"

    We see Mozilla, Chrome, and Safari all on the same line. And I see a lot of lines like that. In fact of 587 lines I saw in my log that accessed the favicon.ico page, they all mentioned Mozilla and only three did not mention Safari.

  • Angry Birds (Score:4, Funny)

    by bradgoodman (964302) on Friday December 02, 2011 @03:25PM (#38241548) Homepage
    A true testimony to the power of Angry Birds...

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