Is the popularity of Firefox waning worldwide, or is Google Chrome just that much better of a choice? As the browser wars continue, while the average computer user is still content with Microsoft's browser, the more experienced user have created something of a battle between the two "alternative" platforms.
In the United Kingdom, Google Chrome has positioned itself has the second most popular browser, replacing the browser that should be given credit for providing an honest-to-goodness alternative to Internet Explorer. Granted, there are other browsers besides Chrome and Firefox -- waves at a still-satisfying Opera platform -- but these two represent the true competition to IE, but it was Firefox who came along when the void needed filling, a fact that takes nothing away from Google Chrome's success and capability.
The quality of Google's browser helps fuel its growth, which, again, has made it the second most popular browser in the land of lavish Royal Weddings and quality pints of beer. According to a report by StatCounter, Chrome captured 22 percent of UK's web traffic, edging out its Mozilla competitor. Furthermore, the success of both Chrome and Firefox has had a severe impact in IE's market share:
The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that Chrome took 22.1% of the UK market, up from 3.9% in July 2009. In the same period Microsoft's Internet Explorer fell significantly from 61% to 46% globally and Firefox dropped slightly from 27% to 22%.
With only 45 percent of the market in the UK, it's becoming pretty clear that many IE users do so because it's the only browser that comes installed on a Windows box. Once users become more experienced with their Internet travels, alternative choices when it comes to browsing are being made. No doubt, the influence of some geek friends they have and/or make play a part here too.
Peer pressure works, even when it comes to web browsing. That said, Firefox's five percent drop is significant as well. If the peer pressure theory has any bearing, apparently, Firefox is as cool as it once was.
In their report, The Guardian quotes Lars Bak, a lead Chrome engineer, who credits Chrome's speed for its success:
"Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it's also about the minimal design and the way it handles security. If you as a user try [to load] a webpage and it feels snappy, it's really hard to go back. It has shown that people spend more time interacting with the web."
It would be interesting to see just how many people would use Internet Explorer if, when they purchased a new computer, they had a choice of browsers instead of just the default choice that is IE.