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Chrome overtakes Safari

Chrome overtakes Safari

Google's Chrome is gaining ground, having overtaken Apple's Safari to become the third most popular browser in the world.

Google's Chrome web browser - which is currently the subject of a massive advertising campaign here in the UK - has overtaken Apple's Safari browser to become the third most popular method of accessing the web, behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox.

The surprising result comes as the company pushes its browser - which has finally been released in beta form for Linux and Mac OS-based machines as well as Windows - heavily in many countries, hoping to capture even more eyeballs for its advertising business. With the open source browser having undergone some much-needed improvements in recent revisions - including tweaks to its extremely fast JavaScript engine along with support for Firefox-style extensions to tailor the browser to individual requirements - the company's first full web browser appears to be going from strength to strength.

The gain is, of course, other browsers' losses: the biggest loser is Apple's Safari, which has dropped from third to fourth most popular browser - despite being the default web browser on the company's Mac OS range of computing systems, and despite also being available for Windows as part of the iTunes bundle.

The figures, quoted by ComputerWorld and current up to the end of December 2009, show Chrome enjoying 4.63 percent of the world-wide browser market, with Safari trailing at 4.46 percent.

Google could start to gain even more ground against the big two - IE and Firefox - thanks to the Mozilla Foundation's decision to delay the release of Firefox 3.6 until some time later in Q1 2010, bumped from its original end-of-2009 schedule. Whether the small - but noticeable - delay will result in further growth for Google's browser remains to be seen.

Has Google's entry into the browser market gained you as a supporter, or are you a stalwart fan of one of the more traditional web browsers? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

29 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Flibblebot 4th January 2010, 11:41 Quote
Bizarrely, I've just seen a honest to goodness, real-life poster hoarding for Chrome - obviously part of Google's "massive advertising campaign here in the UK".

Is it just me or does it seem kind of anachronistic to be advertising a browser with something as low-tech as a poster hoarding? :?
l3v1ck 4th January 2010, 11:43 Quote
I only change browsers if I'm not happy with my current one. FF meets all my needs, both in terms of design and user friendliness as well as extension support (NoScript and FireFTP are the ones I use most). IE has always been lacking so I've never used it.
Unless Mozilla drop the ball with future versions of FF, I can't see myself using Chrome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Is it just me or does it seem kind of anachronistic to be advertising a browser with something as low-tech as a poster hoarding? :?
Not at all. They're targeting non-tech savy people who use IE just because it comes with windows. These people aren't as up with digital media and advertising as the rest of us and will be more likely to see traditional adverts.
l3v1ck 4th January 2010, 11:45 Quote
double post
Abhorsen 4th January 2010, 11:55 Quote
Will still continue to use Opera...
hexx 4th January 2010, 12:16 Quote
support of extensions is only on win, no mac, no linux. i use chrome as a second browser but for me FF is still the main browser. if they create extension like firebug then i'll use it as main browser, until then it's just a lightweight secondary browser, i'm on mac and to be honest i don't see any speed gains on chrome in comparison to safari, in the end it's webkit browser and most of the chrome is the same as safari. bring firebug to chrome on mac or to safari so i don't need to use FF for work, FF is much slower than safari and chrome but since i'm a web developer firebug is essential for my work because it allows you to edit on-the-fly (css, html, whatever)
crazyceo 4th January 2010, 12:19 Quote
IE8 is fine by me. I don't appear to be experiencing the "lacking" aspects some experience and would never again install a google adware product on any system I own or work on.
hexx 4th January 2010, 12:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
IE8 is fine by me. I don't appear to be experiencing the "lacking" aspects some experience and would never again install a google adware product on any system I own or work on.

yes, this is also something i don't like about google, it installs background process without informing you, very nasty thing. even if you uninstall chrome this process stays there - not a good practice
licenced 4th January 2010, 13:15 Quote
Chrome was a lot faster for me than FF and IE when I started using it so I'm still using it now and none of my machines have FF any more due to recent re-installs.

The only background process installed by Chrome is googleupdater which keeps you up to date. I just disable that myself anyway and check for new versions manually.
Bauul 4th January 2010, 13:25 Quote
I used FF until IE7 came out, and then just stuck with that. I simply haven't found any problems with IE7 or IE8, so with them I will remain. Might not be the most common consensus around here, but there you go.
crazyceo 4th January 2010, 13:35 Quote
I'm sorry but most of you wouldn't notice any differnce in speed unless you were monitoring it. I've used FF and Chrome on numerous machines in the house on 50meg BB and if I'm honest, the differences were tiny. I'd rather stick with IE8 so I don't have any unneccesary thirdparty software demanding updates and offering all kinds of additional addons that are just not needed. I visit roughly 10 sites a day at home and work and don't have any of the so called issues some report here. The only reason most have changed is because they heard someone say the others were better by miles and IE8 is a joke, which is simply not true. It can do everything in my daily life I need a browser for, so why bother using something else that the sheep keep saying I should.
hexx 4th January 2010, 13:43 Quote
where chrome/safari excels is JavaScript, much faster on these browsers than on FF/IE. but still as a developer i need to work with all and mostly with IE as most of the users use IE. but personally i prefer safari and chrome, then FF - i don't touch IE unless i need to test my code (I'm on mac so IE runs only as a virtual XP machine in VMware)
alpaca 4th January 2010, 14:12 Quote
at home, where my brother has a P4 era computer, i feel the difference in load time between FF and chrome; here on my own computer there is no real difference in load time, but (and this is kind of stupid) i like the google chrome logo more than i like the IE or FF logo sitting in my taskbar thing. it kinda looks like a pok├ęball (ah, the memories)
popcornuk1983 4th January 2010, 14:16 Quote
I used Chrome when it first came out then switched back to FF due to the lack of decent extension support (I would be lost without xmarks and adblocker). However since using the recent build of Chrome with support for *most* of my favourite extensions, I don't see myself using another browser any time soon . The main reason I prefer Chrome over FF is speed. Okay it may not be noticeably faster in terms of loading webpages, but in startup/shutdown and general responsiveness it feels much quicker than FF. Also there is a new extension in Chrome that allows you to open an IE tab with one click for those websites that have been coded with only IE in mind.
proxess 4th January 2010, 14:20 Quote
If chrome grows bigger than Firefox, it's due to its own merit, not just because 3.6 was delayed a quarter of a dozen months.
Matticus 4th January 2010, 15:56 Quote
I am an FF man, and will always be an FF man.

But on my eee chrome is a must. You get so much more screen space, and it seems to load instantly. To get firefox with that much screen space I use a few addons, these just seem to slow down the start up even more.

If firefox came out with a netbook or lite version, then chrome would get dumped.

I wonder if the popularity of chrome is down to the fact I have installed about 10 different operating systems, each several times and installed chrome each time? Maybe I am single handedly boosting up the ratings :p
Yemerich 4th January 2010, 16:06 Quote
Unfortunately, despise of being a really fast browser, Chrome have LOTS of issues. Anybody here uses it and Yahoo mail? Sometimes, when I send multiples messages in a row and click send, it simply doen't send or worst: deletes the message and show a previous one.

Another issue I have is regarding some foruns that when I enter a password it sends that wrongly, causing the server to not recognise it.

I am using it right now. But for mail I use IE. FF is really good if it wasn't so slow to load at first.

The sad truth is that there's no "perfect browser".
eddtox 4th January 2010, 16:32 Quote
There's only one reason I haven't tried chrome: google is beginning to make me nervous. It's not so much the amount of data they have that bothers me, its their slow shift towards an "evil is just a point of view" and "if you don't want everybody to see what you're doing, you probably shouldn't be doing it anyway" attitudes.

Anybody know any decent opensource search engines / email providers?
13eightyfour 4th January 2010, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhorsen
Will still continue to use Opera...

+1 tried chrome and never really got on with it.
wafflesomd 4th January 2010, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
I'm sorry but most of you wouldn't notice any differnce in speed unless you were monitoring it. .

Chrome is considerably faster than FF for me.

Oh wait, it's you. Nevermind then.
nitrous9200 4th January 2010, 23:08 Quote
Chrome is definitely a lot faster than Firefox to start up, especially over time, and the speed increases are in JavaScript, not page loading; for example, javascript/ajax heavy sites like Gmail load faster in Chrome (not just because gmail is owned by google). IE8 is not that bad, but I seem to notice all versions of IE like to hang up at inopportune times while rendering pages, not to mention that it's JS engine is ancient now. Plus, a lot of the extensions I use with Firefox to customize the layout to be more minimalist aren't necessary in chrome which speeds things up even more (personal preference, of course).
If you're worried about privacy, there is a version of Chromium called SRWare Iron that doesn't have any of the privacy-invading features of Chrome. I use the Chromium nightly builds and update probably once a week. I still like to use Firefox most of the time, but Chrome is looking better and better over time.

ps- forgot to mention the whole sandboxing thing; that's great when flash decides to crap out in one tab with twenty others open, I won't have to start over again.
Farting Bob 5th January 2010, 01:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by hexx
support of extensions is only on win, no mac, no linux.
****, i guess when ubuntu updated chrome for me a week or 2 back and i then installed several working extentions without problem i broke the rules.
The beta works fine, it just doesnt have a round number tacked on the end.
saltyzip 5th January 2010, 02:36 Quote
I have never tried FF, as IE did everything I needed. However I thought I would give Chrome a go on Win 7, and I am glad I did.

It is blazingly fast compared to IE 8 and I love the tab home page and the removal of the waste of space title bar, the latter being especially important on notebooks to view more on screen.

Would suggest installing chrome via the dev or beta channel to ensure you have silverlight support:

Download and run the installer for the desired channel:
Dev channel: http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?extra=devchannel
Beta channel: http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html?extra=betachannel
erratum1 5th January 2010, 06:16 Quote
I tried IE, FF and chrome. And chrome felt like it downloaded the pages quicker, so i've stuck with it.
The_Beast 5th January 2010, 07:10 Quote
FF for me thank you


I didn't really like chrome, it seemed too simple for me or I just didn't use it long enough
eddtox 5th January 2010, 11:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous9200
Chrome is definitely a lot faster than Firefox to start up, especially over time, and the speed increases are in JavaScript, not page loading; for example, javascript/ajax heavy sites like Gmail load faster in Chrome (not just because gmail is owned by google). IE8 is not that bad, but I seem to notice all versions of IE like to hang up at inopportune times while rendering pages, not to mention that it's JS engine is ancient now. Plus, a lot of the extensions I use with Firefox to customize the layout to be more minimalist aren't necessary in chrome which speeds things up even more (personal preference, of course).
If you're worried about privacy, there is a version of Chromium called SRWare Iron that doesn't have any of the privacy-invading features of Chrome. I use the Chromium nightly builds and update probably once a week. I still like to use Firefox most of the time, but Chrome is looking better and better over time.

ps- forgot to mention the whole sandboxing thing; that's great when flash decides to crap out in one tab with twenty others open, I won't have to start over again.

Thanks for the SRware link, will give it a go. ;)
hexx 5th January 2010, 13:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farting Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by hexx
support of extensions is only on win, no mac, no linux.
****, i guess when ubuntu updated chrome for me a week or 2 back and i then installed several working extentions without problem i broke the rules.
The beta works fine, it just doesnt have a round number tacked on the end.

:) you lucky you!!! so it's only mac version left out, anyway you cannot install any extensions on win unless you use beta version
hexx 5th January 2010, 13:56 Quote
and still, no firebug, well, there's firebug lite but i find it redundant as you've got dom inspector part of chrome (it's webkit) so firebug lite is exactly the same thing, maybe small differencies but the main one is missing - editing css on the fly
dicobalt 6th January 2010, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
IE8 is fine by me. I don't appear to be experiencing the "lacking" aspects some experience and would never again install a google adware product on any system I own or work on.

Google spyware is why I installed SRWare Iron. It is the Chrome browser only they take out all the creepy Google spyware code and recompile it.
Shagbag 6th January 2010, 21:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
Google spyware is why I installed SRWare Iron. It is the Chrome browser only they take out all the creepy Google spyware code and recompile it.
... demonstrating another clear benefit to consumers from the Open Source development model.

I also used to use the nightly builds of Chromium on my Arch Linux box but found myself gravitating back to FF for two reasons:
- 'search for text when I start typing'
- NoScript add-on

I would never use IE out of principal. MS's refusal to make it standards-compliant in a shame-faced attempt to gain control web standards (due to the power of IE's market share), I find abhorent.

As to Chrome vs Safari, is Safari actually relevant anymore?
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