Google's share of the browser market rose dramatically in December, growing 1.4 percent from November to just under 10 percent, according to the latest data from Net Applications. By contrast, Chrome's share of the market at the beginning of last year was 4.6 percent.
Google has to be pleased with the success Chrome has enjoyed, noted Net Applications Executive Vice President Vince Vizzaccaro. "They have made a genuine marketing effort the past 18 months, and the results show the effort is paying off," he said.
A Key Advantage
Microsoft's share of the browser market amounted to 57 percent at the end of 2010 -- down from 62 percent at the beginning of last year and 67 percent two years ago. However, the software giant has high hopes for Internet Explorer 9, which is slated for commercial release later this year.
"IE9 beta has been downloaded 20 million times since launch in September, and IE9 now accounts for 0.46 percent of Internet users worldwide at year-end," Director of Internet Explorer Product Marketing Roger Capriotti wrote in a blog.
The positives for Microsoft are that the company still has 57 percent of the browsing market share, and its market losses are slowing, Vizzaccaro observed. "IE8 has done well, and IE9 looks extremely promising," he added. "I believe this will be the version of IE that finally starts winning users back. So desktop browsing may stabilize for Microsoft, but we could still see the alternative browser users going more with Chrome."
Though Firefox was long IE's principal challenger, that browser's popularity fell last year. Firefox held a 22.8 percent market share at the end of 2010, down from 24.6 percent in December 2009. "Mozilla may be concerned because most of the people converting from IE are now converting to Chrome," Vizzaccaro said.
Google also continues to churn out Chrome updates that become automatically installed on the machines of current Chrome users, which appears to be a key advantage. "Google Chrome 7.0 gained 5.64 percent global usage share in November, which is the second-highest monthly gain in our tracking history," Net Applications noted on its web site. "The record is still held by Firefox 3.6, which gained 6.09 percent from February to March 2010."
A Mobile OS Standout
According to Net Applications, Apple's Safari browser held a 5.9 percent share of the browser market at the end of 2010 -- up from 4.6 percent one year earlier.
"Apple can do no wrong in the mobile arena where the success of the iPad, iPhone and iPod are driving growth in Safari usage," Vizzaccaro explained. "As far as the future for browsers, I expect mobile to become the dominant engine of growth, and I think Apple will be the major beneficiary of that growth."
On the mobile side of the operating-system market, Apple seems to have benefited from major consumer interest in its latest mobile gadgets during the peak of last year's holiday shopping season. Apple's iOS platform, which runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, gained the most overall usage share on a sequential basis, the web-metrics firm noted.
Google's Android platform, which runs on all Android-based smartphones and other devices, grew 29 percent month to month -- the fastest pace in December. But when it comes to single mobile devices, the real market standout was "the iPad, which grew at an amazing 33.3 percent month to month," Net Applications said.
Apple's iPod also shone with a 25 percent sequential growth rate, but iPhone usage slid 20 percent month to month. By contrast, Apple's mobile handset posted 22 percent sequential growth during the same period in 2009.
Posted: 2011-01-05 @ 1:52pm PT
Why is this posted under the Linux/Open Source category? Just because a piece of software is ported to linux doesn't really mean it belongs here.
Chrome is closed source, so filing it here is misleading.