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Chrome 15 Overtakes IE 8 For Top Browser Spot 507

An anonymous reader writes "If you're reading this on Chrome, you're part of a wave that has ditched Internet Explorer or Firefox and helped vault Google's browser to the top Web browser spot worldwide." Are you reading this on Chrome? (I'm using Chromium right now, but that's pretty close.)
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Chrome 15 Overtakes IE 8 For Top Browser Spot

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  • Version war? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @07:57PM (#38412236)

    This is complete nonsense, if you take into account all versions of said browsers, IE still comes out on top. Who cares that a particular version (numbering incompatibility?!) is more used than another?

  • by Meshach ( 578918 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @07:58PM (#38412240)
    Also are they lumping all versions of Chrome together? All versions of Firefox together?

    Seems misleading...
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <.rodrigogirao. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:04PM (#38412302) Homepage

    I simply can't understand how a browser with such a godawful interface could get so popular.

  • by furbyhater ( 969847 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:10PM (#38412326)
    Posting this from Iceweasel 8.0/Debian Wheezy.
    Once you've got used to some of the better add-ons (adblock, noscript, peraperakun, tabmixplus, treeestyletabs) it's hard to make a change.
    I don't care enough about slightly lower memory usage or slightly shorter start-up times (4GB of RAM, browser running for a week on average).
    I don't get the advantages of chrome.
    I've used chrome, and I experience more of a vendor-lock-down feeling with it. Of course there are a lot of extensions, but they seem more of an afterthought as compared with Firefox.
    The biggest problem of Firefox ATM is that they are copying chrome too much instead of choosing their own direction.
    That's all.
  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:18PM (#38412388) Journal

    Does Chrome have the ability yet to make text a readable size without widening the page so I have to scroll sideways?

    Does it have the ability to selectively stop/play animations?

    No? Then I'll be sticking with Firefox a while longer, I guess. Come back when your browser's accessible and then we'll talk.

  • Re:No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:28PM (#38412454)

    I think Chrome should depend on the underlying OS to handle video. This allows them to both support and NOT support h.264. Most people will get h.264 support, and those who want to vote with their wallets won't.

  • Bloat? What Bloat? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:29PM (#38412460)

    People keep claiming that Chrome uses less memory than Firefox so I decided to take a look.

    Memory used:
    Initial start up, no pages open:

    Firefox 39 MB
    Chrome 56 MB

    5 tabs open:

    Firefox 135 MB
    Chrome 152 MB

    Size on disk (Windows version)

    Firefox 44 MB
    Chrome 75 MB

    There are things that I like about Chrome and over the past couple of years Firefox has really pissed me off with their never ending bonehead design decisions. But the "Firefox is bloated" claims just don't make sense.

  • Re:Version war? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:41PM (#38412540) Journal

    Who cares that a particular version (numbering incompatibility?!) is more used than another?

    I would say that a lot of people who have to provide support care a great deal whether you're using IE 6 or IE 8.


  • Re:Version war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Terrasque ( 796014 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:42PM (#38412552) Homepage Journal

    Because IE6, IE7, IE8 and IE9 are more or less four completely different browsers. My experience is that there are usually more differences between two IE version's HTML / JS parsing than the difference between Opera, Firefox and Chrome combined.

    IE9 is the first browser where Microsoft actually tried. It's not perfect by far, but at least it's trying. IE6 is from the days where companies competed over who could make the most batshit insane browser. IE7 were a major change from IE6, and IE8 was a small change from IE7. But still carrying the El Batshitto legacy from old IE6. IE9 is, as said, a completely different ballpark (it's generally around the same level as firefox v3.6).

    Don't be fooled by the name similarity. They truly deserve to be counted separately for each major version.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:52PM (#38412612)

    The ones who should be worried about this are not Microsoft. Rather, they are Mozilla. This news just goes to show how irrelevant Firefox is quickly becoming. Luckily for them, they still have time. All they need to do is stop doing the stupid shit that they've been doing the past couple of years.

    First, bring back the fucking menu bar and the status bar by default! The space gained by not showing them is much less valuable than the time saved by having the browser's functionality easily accessible (using the menus) and by having informational messages shown much more obviously (using the status bar). It was a really fucking stupid decision to hide these by default, and it has crippled Firefox's UI. No, I don't want to dig through about:config trying to find the right options to re-enable this functionality that shouldn't be disabled by default.

    Second, go back to a sensible release schedule! Put out solid, well-tested major releases once a year. Use version numbers that are actually meaningful. Don't succumb to stupid release policies or version number shenanigans just because Chrome does. Using a sensible release schedule will also help prevent the UI from changing drastically on a monthly basis, which only serves to drive users away.

    Third, fix the really fucking horrible memory and CPU consumption that Firefox has exhibited for years now. This alone is one of the major reasons why people use Chrome. It's not that they like Chrome, but rather they just don't like how Firefox consumes so much fucking memory even after short browsing sessions, and even when using a fresh installation with no extensions or add-ons installed yet. It's even less pleasant when Firefox feels so much slower than Chrome, Opera, and even IE these days.

    Fourth, show the damn protocol in the URL bar by default! Yes, it's important, and no, it doesn't waste space. It was a pathetic decision to remove it, and it really made Firefox much less usable. No, I don't want to dig through about:config trying to find the right option to re-enable this functionality that shouldn't be disabled by default.

    Mozilla had their most successful years before Firefox 4. It has been all downhill since then. It's also been long enough that it should be obvious that this new approach isn't working. It's driving away the core Firefox users who made Firefox what it once was. If Firefox is just going to be a poor imitation of Chrome, and inferior in many ways, then why the fuck don't people just use Chrome? Well, that's what's happening. Maybe Mozilla can get their shit together and fix this problem before Firefox is completely irrelevant.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:58PM (#38412638)
    Uh, all those things you're saying will will allow Firefox to become more relevant again are things that are done the same way in Chrome.

    "Well, people obviously prefer the way Chrome does this... let's go the opposite way!"

    Sounds like dumb geek theory to me. It doesn't win you converts... you've just admitted defeat and rolled back to the old stuff so you can die quietly.
  • Re:Version war? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by multimediavt ( 965608 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:01PM (#38412648)

    Who cares that a particular version (numbering incompatibility?!) is more used than another?

    I would say that a lot of people who have to provide support care a great deal whether you're using IE 6 or IE 8.


    No, just us web devs. :)

  • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:01PM (#38412650)

    I just don't understand how bookmarks work on Chrome. Why can't I have what I have on Firefox - a menu item I can click on to get a scrollable list of bookmarks? I don't want a whole empty row just for a single bookmark button, and I don't want a bookmark `frame` or tab, or whatever. Why can't I have an icon somewhere which gets me my full list of bookmarks. Just like in Firefox.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:03PM (#38412662)
    "IE is still easily number one at 50%, while Chrome has 25%."

    What's it matter? I'm much more interested in what percentage of web sites are W3C compliant. When that approaches 100%, then browsers will compete on true merit (speed, UI, etc.), not their support of proprietary extensions and how well they put up with badly coded HTML.

    I'm sick and tired of "browser x isn't supported," and "this site best viewed with..." crap, which is just indicative of clueless website developers.
  • by Cyko_01 ( 1092499 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:26PM (#38412780) Homepage
    Here is the real news - chrome (all versions) near tied Firefox (all versions ) in November and as of December has clearly overtaken it for the position of second most popular browser
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:27PM (#38412792) Homepage

    Well, my primary measure has been if I leave it open on Friday, how will it react on Monday when I get back. And on that FF has failed like horribly, both Chrome and IE respond much faster. Using process explorer it seems Firefox is busy reloading a billion stack pages which a) it'd has no reason using anyway and b) even if it did, just load the few I need and display those. Maybe I'm hitting some kind of issue that leaks memory like shit, but at least that's what I find. I haven't filed a bug because honestly I don't know WTF to file the bug on, I just switched to Chrome. If I got too paranoid about what Google is doing, I'd get Chromium.. but FF is really fucked up and I don't know what'd bring it back, it'd certainly be no quick fix.

  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:41PM (#38412866)

    Your first two points kinds are meaningless since people have fled FF for a UI exactly like the one that you claim is a reason that they left FF.

    You are correct about FF's performance, but people will not just come back to it because it gets better performance... I left FF because I LIKE Chrome.

    Your fourth point is meaningless again because people have not left FF for a browser that does the same exact thing.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:44PM (#38412884)

    "The ones who should be worried about this are not Microsoft. Rather, they are Mozilla. "

    If they cared, they'd change. They don't.

  • by Just Brew It! ( 636086 ) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @11:56PM (#38413564)
    Agreed. I love Chrome (ditched Firefox for Chrome a couple of years ago when the long load times and sluggishness of Firefox on Linux became too much to bear), but this story amounts to little more than playing silly games with statistics.
  • by justforgetme ( 1814588 ) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @04:18AM (#38414616) Homepage

    I don't like chrome very much. I like chromium even though it's kind of a bitch to compile if you go that route.
    I have to say though that I'm kind of offended. It isn't really "Google Chrome" its chromium with google branding.

    This hideous self promotion (and misinformed peer promotion) of the search giant has to stop!

  • by edumacator ( 910819 ) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @11:41AM (#38416634)

    anecdotes are useless.

    Not true. I had a friend once who used anecdotes very successfully.

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday December 18, 2011 @12:31PM (#38417008) Homepage Journal

    I simply can't understand how a browser with such a godawful interface could get so popular.

    Because only a small percentage of users are like you. The vast majority really like Chrome's interface.

    Why? A big part is that it removes a lot of clutter that didn't ever mean anything to them anyway. Just yesterday I watched my brother-in-law using Firefox; he went to google.com and searched for gmail to get to his e-mail. I asked him why he didn't type gmail.com into the location bar, or gmail into the search bar. He responded that he'd never quite understood the difference between them, and had found that just typing what he wants into Google worked best.

    Now, this is a man in his 40s, who's been playing with computers for about 15 years now (since his early 30s), is something of a gamer, understands something about the internals of his computer and has upgraded video cards, processors, hard drives, etc., and done it by himself. He uses Windows (reinstalling it every few months, seems like), but has experimented with Linux, dual-booting Ubuntu for a while. He's not a geek, but he's a moderately-knowledgeable computer user.

    Next time I have a chance, I'm going to have him install Chrome, and I guarantee you he will love it. The unibar is perfect: "Just type whatever in here". The lack of status bar won't bother him in the slightest; I noticed yesterday that when a site was a little slow, he didn't even bother looking at the status bar to see what was happening: The icon on the tab was still moving, so he knew to keep waiting. He may or may not like the fact that the bookmarks bar only shows on a new tab. If he doesn't, it's easily changed. I'm sure he'll really like the default home page, with its display of commonly-visited sites. I know he'll love Chrome Sync, since he has three computers he uses regularly. And I know he'll like the speed.

    IMO, people try Chrome for the speed. But not only does the UI not drive them away, the vast majority like it better. It gets rid of stuff they didn't understand anyway, and makes the browser easier to use.

    Another data point: while typing this I asked my wife what she thinks. She's a heavy web user, but not at all technical, at least not in the way slashdotters would interpret the word. Lots of people ask her computer questions. Her comments on FF UI vs Chrome UI:

    • She thinks the unibar is fantastic. Much better than the divided location and search bars.
    • She really likes the Chrome startup page, with the thumbnails of her favorite sites.
    • She really likes that the "+ is always there", meaning the icon to open a new tab. FF uses the same plus icon but because it hides the tab bar when there's only a single page open, the "+" isn't always there.
    • She didn't know what I meant by "status" bar until I showed her. She said she never looked at that, except to look for the lock icon for secure web sites, and that's in the location bar on Chrome.
    • She doesn't know why anyone would care to see the URL protocol.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel