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Google Chrome Becomes World's No. 1 Browser 449

Posted by samzenpus
from the top-of-the-class dept.
redletterdave writes "Just six months after Google Chrome eclipsed Mozilla's Firefox to become the world's second most popular Web browser, Chrome finally surpassed Microsoft's Internet Explorer on Sunday to become the most-used Web browser in the world, according to Statcounter. Since May 2011, Internet Explorer's global market share has been steadily decreasing from 43.9 percent to 31.4 percent of all worldwide users. In that time, Chrome has climbed from below 20 percent to nearly 32 percent of the market share. Yet, while Chrome is now the No. 1 browser in the world, it still lags behind Internet Explorer here in the U.S., but that will soon change. Chrome currently has 27.1 percent of the U.S. market share, compared to Internet Explorer's 30.9 percent, but IE is seeing significant drop-offs in usage while Chrome continues to rise."
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Google Chrome Becomes World's No. 1 Browser

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  • Chromium, (Score:5, Informative)

    by pecosdave (536896) * on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:25PM (#40066685) Homepage Journal

    Like Chrome without the invasive EULA.

  • False (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:26PM (#40066687)

    Statcounter just tracks requests. Google Chrome started using pre-loading pages, which artificially inflates page views.

    Move along.

    • Re:False (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:30PM (#40066745) Homepage

      Statcounter just tracks requests. Google Chrome started using pre-loading pages, which artificially inflates page views. Move along.

      Actually they've changed that:

      Prerendering adjustment

      Further to a significant number of user requests, we are now adjusting our browser stats to remove the effect of prerendering in Google Chrome. From May 1 2012, prerendered pages (that are not actually viewed) are not included in our stats. More information on this is available in our FAQ.

    • by chrb (1083577) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:35PM (#40066829)

      BROWSERS: Do you adjust your browser stats for prerendering/pre-loading? [statcounter.com]

      Two browsers are affected by preview-type requests - Chrome and Safari.

      Chrome

      Further to a significant number of user requests, we are now adjusting our browser stats to remove the effect of prerendering in Google Chrome. From 1 May 2012, prerendered pages (which are not actually viewed) are not included in our stats.

      Some points to note:

      Prerendering was announced by Chrome in June 2011. This change did not have any significant impact on our stats.
      Chrome is currently allowing the detection of prerendering behavior via its Page Visibility API.
      Google specifically states:
      "Important: This is an experimental API and may change-or even be removed-in the future, especially as the Page Visibility API standard, which is an early draft, evolves."

      This means that in the future it may not be possible to track/remove the effect of prerendering on Chrome.

      If other browsers adopt prerendering then it may not be possible to track/remove the effect of prerendering on those browsers. In that case, the fairest solution would be to include all page views (prerendered or not) for all browsers rather than only excluding prerendering in Chrome. That scenario would require us to revisit this methodology change in the future.

      Safari

      The Top Sites feature in Safari shows preview thumbnails of frequently visited sites. These preview thumbnails are refreshed by Safari periodically. Unfortunately, it is not possible to exclude these previews from being tracked. To get a bit technical, this is because the "X-Purpose: preview" header is only sent with the request for the base page. The header is not sent as part of requests for images, CSS or JavaScript that have to be downloaded and executed as part of the Top Sites preview. With online web analytics (as provided by StatCounter) the relevant header information is not passed so these preview requests can't be detected and therefore can't be removed. Ideally Safari will change this to ensure to send the "X-Purpose: preview" header with all Top Sites HTTP requests, however this is not the case at present.

    • Re:False (Score:4, Interesting)

      by arose (644256) on Monday May 21, 2012 @03:21PM (#40068211)
      That hardly explains why Chrome's gains match up with IE loses with Firefox staying about the same.
  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:27PM (#40066715) Homepage Journal

    The "Chrome effect" is the spike of internet trends that only happens on the weekends because geeks and other home-enthusiasts are using alternative browsers since there is no real restriction. What is the percentage of use during 9a-5p monday through friday? Looking at intra-week stats shows this heavily favors IE, or at least it has in the past. What is the trend for business adoption of alternative browsers?

  • Yay? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:29PM (#40066735)

    I'm not sure what to think. I've wanted Microsoft to lose its dominance ever since it eclipsed Netscape browser in 1999, but to replace one evil company that abuses it users, with another evil company that spies on people, is like a pyrrhic victory.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:42PM (#40066941) Journal

      I'm not sure what to think. I've wanted Microsoft to lose its dominance ever since it eclipsed Netscape browser in 1999, but to replace one evil company that abuses it users, with another evil company that spies on people, is like a pyrrhic victory.

      My logic is to celebrate the contenders even if it's just more of the same corporations. Am I the only web developer that noticed that Internet Exploder started getting passably decent as Firefox & Chrome were breathing down their necks? I welcome any sort of race when before it was just the aborted full frontal lobotomy that is IE6 as a candidate.

      Besides, roll your own chromium [chromium.org] and kiss any privacy raping proprietary ties goodbye if you want (and without the loss of HTML5 support and standards).

      • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Monday May 21, 2012 @03:22PM (#40068225)

        Am I the only web developer that noticed that Internet Exploder started getting passably decent as Firefox & Chrome were breathing down their necks?

        I was thinking about something like that earlier. I seem to remember Microsoft making a claim around 2004 that they were stopping development on IE, that IE6 would be the last version with patches as needed (I don't have a source for that though). Then Firefox 1.0 came out in November of 2004, then Microsoft announced IE7 in Feb 05. I was thinking about the state we're in today, where we have 3 browsers competing for the top spot (sadly, my beloved Opera is still where it always has been), and realizing that IE9 and now IE10 are like day and night compared to previous versions. It made me think about what would have happened if development really did stop at IE6, and I involuntarily shuddered. IE9 can hold its own against any of the others on top, and I expect good results with IE10 also. I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point a few years ago the IE team redefined their goals to be much closer to what they should have been all along.

    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:21PM (#40067457)

      You can use Firefox instead. Or one of many other browsers.

      The important thing here is not so much IE losing the #1 position. It's actually irrelevant since they went under 60, 70% or so. Now pretty much all web pages work fine for pretty much all browsers - compare that to 10 years ago when a large part of the web was IE-only. To view those pages you had to use IE, and companies got away with it because >90% did use IE which came with some convenient but proprietary extensions, and it was not worth catering for the other <10%.

      Developers now code to standards, to make it work for all their users. Sure it's all not perfect and so (yet) but having a browser ecosystem with three major browsers with a large userbase (plus a whole lot of alternatives) but each well under half the total market is what counts. You have real choice now. You're not forced anymore to use IE to see a web page, you can use any browser you like. If you don't like IE and Chrome/Chromium, use FF, Safari, Opera, whatever: they all will do the job just fine.

      IE falling from the #1 spot is just psychologically important. It goes to show how far MS has fallen. And it proves that Windows may be next - if only a truly viable competitor shows up.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:12PM (#40071829) Journal

      But why would you care? Ever since web devs quit building "this site is made for IE 6" websites frankly it really doesn't matter WHAT browser folks use as finally all the websites can be rendered in any of the major (and even most minor) browsers without the least bit of trouble. And funny you should talk about evil and mention Netscape as they were just as proprietary and nasty as MSFT, or did everyone forget the "blink" tag and other NS only crap?

      But as you noted in your sig we now have Seamonkey , plus Pale Moon, FF, Chrome, Chromium, Dragon, QTWeb, SWIron, Safari, Opera, Kmeleon and Kmeleon CCF ME, hell probably a dozen more I haven't named and they all just work across the vast majority of the web without hassle or rendering problems.

      So as long as MSFT can no longer dictate the web "Works best in IE (version number)" frankly I don't give a rat's ass what the majority uses because the rest of us have a wealth of choices. And isn't THAT what really matters? that nobody is tied to a single browser just to be able to use the web?

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:35PM (#40066821)

    Some of, but not all of, Chrome is open-source. You really want that transparency in a web browser these days. Use Chromium [chromium.org] instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:39PM (#40066887)

    Where is the cake for Google, Microsoft?
    You love to send one to Mozilla every so often, why not Google? Look at how far they have come! Isn't it amazing? Wittle Goog all growed up!

    What? No cake policy? Aw, you're just no fun now.

    • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:46PM (#40067007)

      Where is the cake for Google, Microsoft?
      You love to send one to Mozilla every so often, why not Google? Look at how far they have come! Isn't it amazing? Wittle Goog all growed up!

      What? No cake policy? Aw, you're just no fun now.

      They stopped sending cakes to Mozilla when they switched to the fast release model for Firefox, once they realized that they were spending a million a quarter on cakes because of a Firefox version coming out every time someone sneezed.

      I believe the same would hold for Chrome as well.

  • by mjpg (717775) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:39PM (#40066897)

    These are the figures for visitors to a 250,000 visits a month site in the UK:

    Internet Explorer 44%
    Safari 20%
    Chrome 17%
    Firefox 13%

    In any case, I'm not sure what 'choice' many visitors have. Some people get what their IT department installs, others stick with what is on (eg Mac/Safari or Windows/IE), others with what their familt IT support insists on.

  • good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:39PM (#40066903)

    Still mainly a Safari (Mac) man myself, but I'm happy to see anything knock IE off its perch.

  • by overshoot (39700) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:48PM (#40067043)
    it weren't designed primarily as an advertising medium that optimises the browser as a vehicle for tracking users.
  • My humble theory (Score:3, Informative)

    by trifish (826353) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:48PM (#40067049)

    I see a problem with StatCounter stats -- biased demography. StatCounter (in contrast to other players) is used predominantly by small to medium sites.

    Now who is the most frequent visitor to a small or obscure site? The webmaster! They keep looking at their site many times every day.

    Hence, most of the StatCounter stats are from the webmaster demography. I can assure you that webmasters are biased towards Google. That means that they are more likely to use Google browser.

    If you use a stats source that is used only by the biggest players (a la microsoft.com), you will see totally different stats:

    IE: 54.09%
    Firefox: 20.20%
    Chrome: 18.85%

    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0&qpcustomd=0 [hitslink.com]

  • Android? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:53PM (#40067127)
    Do these statistics include the default browser on Android devices in the "Chrome" group? Otherwise I'm extremely surprised by them. I can't believe that there's more than a person installing Chrome for each one that uses a PC without knowing what a "browser" is (and therefore is an IE user).
  • by Eponymous Hero (2090636) on Monday May 21, 2012 @01:54PM (#40067151)
    there were two eclipses yesterday.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday May 21, 2012 @02:17PM (#40067419)

    Chrome has now "sold out", and may only be used "ironically".

    The current "hip" browser is now Lynx in an xterm window set to use Helvetica (it's "vintage"). Please adjust your usage accordingly.

  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Monday May 21, 2012 @07:13PM (#40070961)

    By the way, there is a MAJOR reason why usage of Internet Explorer is falling: it lacks automatic spell check. I've read a lot of web browser users have switched to Firefox or Chrome in Windows XP/Vista/7 because IE 8.0 (Windows XP) and IE 9.0 (Vista/7) lack the ability to check spelling.

    However, IE 10.0 for Windows 7 and 8 does include spell-checking for the first time, and that may dissuade a good number of users from using alternatives. And unlike IE 8.0 and 9.0, IE 10.0 is WAY more HTML 5.0 compliant, too.

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