Friday, December 2, 2011

Google Chrome Passes Firefox In Global Browser Market

Chrome has moved past Firefox to become the world's second-most popular Web browser after Internet Explorer, according to StatCounter. Chrome grabbed a 25.69 percent share of the global browser market in November -- a major increase from the 4.66 market share it held two years earlier, the Dublin, Ireland-based Web metrics firm said Thursday.

In the United States, IE currently holds a 50.66 percent market share, a slight increase from one year earlier. By contrast, Firefox usage among U.S Web users is 20.1 percent -- down from 26.75 percent in the same month last year, StatCounter said.

Google's popular browser -- which held a 17.3 percent share of the U.S market at the end of November -- is clearly benefiting from Firefox's slide. At the beginning of 2011, only 10.9 percent of all U.S.-based Web users were using Chrome.

"We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft Relevant Products/Services and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally," said StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen Thursday.

Stalled Firefox Growth

On a global basis, however, Chrome's gain of 7.5 percentage points in browser market share during 2011 has come at Microsoft's expense, primarily.

However, the latest data Relevant Products/Services from Net Applications shows Firefox has also lost 1.5 percentage points on the desktop Relevant Products/Services so far this year. Net Applications shows that IE's global market share, which stood at 52.6 percent at the beginning of December, has fallen by more than 6 percentage points this year.

Unlike StatCounter, the U.S.-based Web metric firm still shows Firefox in second place with a 25.7 percent global market share, followed by Chrome at 18.2 percent.

Despite Mozilla's decision earlier this year to emulate Chrome by introducing more frequent and more automated browser updates, the growth rate for Firefox has stalled.

The shorter development cycles for Firefox may be attractive to individual users but in the enterprise Relevant Products/Services space it usually takes a while for corporations to accept and implement software Relevant Products/Services changes, noted Net Applications Vice President Vincent Vizzaccaro.

In fact, the shorter development cycles for Firefox may even be inhibiting the browser's enterprise growth, Vizzaccaro said. This may especially be the case "if older versions are not supported for a long period of time," Vizzaccaro added. (continued...)

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