Google Chrome set to overtake Firefox as No. 2 browser

Google’s Chrome browser, which has been steadily gaining users, will likely pass Firefox as the No. 2 browser worldwide by the end of the year, according to a Web analytics company.

Information from StatCounter shows that Chrome’s global share stands at 23.6 percent, just behind Firefox’s 26.8 percent, Computerworld reported. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still holds the lead, at 41.7 percent.

Chrome’s fast growth — it has gained 8 percentage points so far this year — indicates that it’s about to take over second place, the article reported. Chrome’s gain apparently has come from former users of Firefox and IE, each of which lost 4 percentage points this year. As recently as 2003, IE held 95 percent of the market.

Of course, tracking browser usage worldwide isn’t an exact science. Another Web statistics service, Net Applications’ NetMarketShare, shows a similar trend but less dramatic numbers.

As of September 2011, according to NetMarketShare, IE led the pack with 50.97 percent of all users, followed by Firefox with 21.06 percent and Chrome with 15.17 percent. Safari came in at 8.03 percent, Opera at 1.58 percent and “other” at 3.18 percent.

But no matter which numbers you look at, Chrome’s growth has been striking. Released in December 2008, after appearing a few months earlier in beta, Chrome had about a 6 percent share of the market after two years, but has been on a steep climb ever since. Aside from mobile browsers, it’s the only one showing an increase in users.



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