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For a day, Google Chrome was the world's most popular PC browser

March 22, 2012
Chrome vs Explorer vs Firefox

Since its first stable release back in December 11, 2008, Google Chrome was quick to gain popularity, taking just a few short years to become a major competitor in the bruising PC browser market. During this time, Google did not shy away from promoting their Chrome web browser in every way that they could, and, with Google being quite a powerful company nowadays (now, that’s an understatement), that actually meant a lot: video ads, ads on YouTube, and, of course, ads plastered all over their immensely popular search engine.

Open your Firefox browser, go to (logged out of your Google profile) and take a quick look. Doesn’t it seem like Google is doing a little too much marketing? I’m only asking since I personally know a few people that are somewhat offended by Google’s ambition to turn users over to Chrome. Oh, and I almost forgot about the embarrassing paid posts fiasco from a few months ago, when the Google search engine actually penalized the Chrome team for breaking Big G’s SEO rules.

Anyway, as it turns out, Google’s marketing efforts were pretty successful. According to recent stats published by StatCounter, Google Chrome was – for a day- the most popular PC browser in the world. Yep, that’s right, this means Microsoft’s Internet Explorer lost its crown for one day, and, most likely, it will soon lose it for good. Now imagine saying that a few years ago!

According to the data published by StatCounter, Internet Explorer loses a significant number of points during the weekend, when most people are not at their office, and browse the Internet from their own laptops or desktops. The interesting part is that these weekend points are won over almost entirely by Google Chrome. Last Sunday, on March 18, the shift was big enough for Google Chrome to ensure 32.7%, while Internet Explorer stood at 32.5%. It’s a very small difference, but its significance is huge (for Google, Microsoft, and pretty much everybody else). The following Monday, Internet Explorer rose back up to 35% while Chrome slid to 30%. The following graph should provide a better perspective:


Leaving personal preferences aside, common sense dictates that users wouldn’t have embraced Google Chrome as quickly as they have if it wasn’t a good web browser, regardless of how much exposure it received. Subjectively, I really think there is no “best web browser for everyone” out there, but Google Chrome should be considered an excellent alternative (and even tried out for a test run) by every PC user with Internet access out there. It’s really that good.

Here are a few milestones reached by Google Chrome in the race to lead the highly competitive browsers market (as reported by StatCounter):

  • By the time the first stable version of Chrome was released, 1% of users were already using the beta version
  • In August 2009, Google Chrome was used by more people than both Safari and Opera (3.38% vs 3.25% and 2.67%, respectively)
  • Since January 2010, Google Chrome has more users than Safari and Opera put together (6.04% vs 3.76%, 2.00%)
  • In August 2010, Google Chrome’s market share first passed ten percentage points (10.76%)
  • Since November 2011, Google Chrome is used by more people than Mozilla’s Firefox (25.69% vs 25.23%)
  • For the past 30 days, Google Chrome holds a market share slightly bigger than 30%
  • On March 18, Google Chrome was the most used PC browser, globally.

What do you guys think? Are these milestones well deserved or are they just the result of Google’s marketing efforts? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!