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Chrome Dislodges Safari from Third Place in Browser Usage

Google’s browser Chrome had dislodged Apple’s Safari as the third most used browser, according to measurements made by NetApplications. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still occupies the top slot and this is followed by Mozilla’s Firefox. During the second week of December 2009, NetApplications observed that Chrome had a 4.40 percent share of the browsers used by people visiting the network of websites owned by NetApplications, compared to the 4.37 percent share of Safari.

Google’s Chrome

Chrome is a web browser that was released by Google in December 2008. The company that became well-known for its search engine had previously released the complete source code of Chrome as part of its open source project known as Chromium. This release includes the V8 JavaScript engine of Google. Chromium has the same features as Chrome except that it does not carry the Google brand and its automatic updates. This release permitted third-party developers to port the browser software to Linux and Mac OS X. And on December 8, 2009, Google had issued the beta versions of its browser for Linux and Mac OS X. The company expects the public stable release of Chrome for these two operating systems to be made on January 12, 2010.

Apple’s Safari

On the other hand, Safari is a browser issued by Apple and is the native browser for the Panther version of the Mac OS X. Apple has also used Safari as the default browser of its iPhone operating system. The slight edge of Chrome over Safari in NetApplications’ measurements is still very small and may not mean much at the moment, although the difference of 0.03 percent represents a large number of people.

It should also be noted that NetApplications had previously made some adjustments to its methodology for measuring browser usage as a way to improve how its calculation takes into account global differences. This has led to drastic changes in the results of NetApplications’ computations for browser usage. It should also be observed that there are substantial differences between weekly results and monthly statistics.

Nevertheless, browser developers are generally confident with the statistics provided by NetApplications. The statistics also show the more rapid rise in the popularity of Chrome compared to Safari. During the month of November 2009, Chrome had only a 3.93 percent share compared to Safari’s 4.36 percent. This may be a result of Google’s shift from its previous stance of using only word-of-mouth advertising to promote its browse software. It has become more active in spreading the word about Chrome and its latest strategy is to encourage people to invite others to download Chrome for free. Mozilla’s Firefox had demonstrated that a browser that is not included in an operating system (OS) can be successful and Chrome appears to be following the same path.

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