May 29, 2012

Google Chrome Continues To Pick Up Momentum On Explorer

Enid Burns for RedOrbit.com

Competition between Google's Chrome browser and Microsoft's Internet Explorer is red hot. Last week the search giant's browser beat out the software giant's, and this week the internet is looking at month-long tallies to see just how swiftly Chrome is stepping into the lead for market share on browsers.

Mobile may be the battleground for the browser war. In the year ending in January, the research firm statCounter found that global access from mobile devices, not including tablets, doubled to 8.5 percent, according to an article on Australia's Sydney Morning Herald. Mobile is an important platform as each browser wants to be able to collect user data in order to serve targeted advertising.

"The browsers need to be present on the mobile device for survival," said Greg Sterling, analyst with Opus Research, in the SMH article. "Everyone is trying to manage their strategy in this multiscreen multiplatform world."

Chrome is gaining ground across all platforms. With May almost ticked off the calendar, the month is turning out to be a victory for the Google open source browser. Chrome had an average usage share of 32.5 percent, just a bit higher than Internet Explorer's 32.1 percent, according to a Computerworld article.

Just last week it was declared that the Google Chrome browser edged out Microsoft's Internet Explorer after climbing from 20 percent of the market, past other browsers, to around 33 percent. Questions still remained whether Chrome would hold its lead on Explorer.

While the StatCounter numbers show an impressive pace to the lead for Google Chrome, some question the data, saying there are discrepancies in the numbers, versus other collectors of such data. NetMarketShare data lists Microsoft as holding 54 percent market share, Firefox with 20 percent and Chrome with 19 percent, as of this month.

April data released by W3Counter reports Microsoft Internet Explorer with 28.9 percent market share; Google Chrome with 25.9 percent and Mozilla Firefox with 24.1 percent.

Weekends have been a time to gain ground for the Chrome browser. This suggests that people have adopted the browser for home use, even if they're not allowed to use Chrome at work. If businesses transition to using Google Chrome over other browsers, the Google-created browser will gain even more market share.

For both Google and Microsoft, it may be a matter of marketing to IT professionals to get their browser in front of employees. If enterprise businesses shift to Google Chrome, then that many more computers will push Google Chrome to a higher market share. In turn, those users are likely to go home and use Google Chrome on their home computers, adding to a growing market share.

Many businesses stick with Microsoft Internet Explorer, the default Windows browser. Some companies opted to make Firefox the recommended browser due to higher security against online attacks. If Google keeps up with security concerns, and continues to offer advantages over other browsers such as productivity extensions, market share will continue to rise. At this point, it's up to Microsoft to hold its dwindling lead, and it may have to make some sweeping updates in order to hold favor.


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