Chrome edges out Safari in browser usage

Google’s browser has passed Safari in terms of worldwide browser usage–at least by one measurement.

NetApplications’ measurements of browser usage share, which track which browsers individuals use based on visits to the company’s network of Web sites, gave Chrome the third-place spot after No. 1 Internet Explorer and No. 2 Firefox for the week of December 6 through 12, according to a Computerworld story Tuesday. Chrome had 4.4 percent share to Safari’s 4.37 percent.

Google released beta versions of Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux on December 8. Earlier, only developer channel versions had been available. Google plans to release the “stable” versions January 12, according to the Chromium development calendar.

Take these usage share numbers with a grain of salt. Even though 0.03 percentage points still is a lot of people in the real world, it is a small fraction, and a change in Net Applications’ assumptions in August led to share changes two orders of magnitude more dramatic. Weekly statistics also vary: Although Firefox cleared 25 percent share in one week of November, it averaged only 24.72 percent for the overall month.

I’ve asked various browser makers about how trustworthy they view NetApplications’ statistics to be. The answers generally are favorable but not ringing endorsements.

Regardless of the precise details, though, the Chrome trajectory is upward: its November usage share was 3.93 percent to Safari’s 4.36 percent.

And although Google relied on word of mouth for promoting its original online search product, it’s taking a more active role with Chrome. The latest example: a “Chrome for Christmas” site that lets people send invitations to download Chrome.

Firefox proved that a browser not bundled with an operating system can be successful, and Chrome could show the idea isn’t a fluke if its growth continues.


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2 responses to “Chrome edges out Safari in browser usage”

  1. ileaneb says :

    I took your advice and started using Chrome last month. It’s great. They could improve on the extensions, but for now I’m happy with it. I think that many people that were unhappy with IE tried Firefox and Safari, but more were satisfied with Firefox. I never see people give endorsements of Safari over Firefox any more. So Google can win over IE users and some Safari users, but the Firefox users are going to need some incentives. I’m sure the growth of Chrome will escalate when the Nexus arrives.

    Thanks for the advice and the links.

  2. SocialBlogr says :

    I always use Chrome now, it’s lighter than FF and Safari and has a lot of extensions. Hmm..maybe it’s gonna be a favorite browser someday. 😛

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