Chrome bears down on Firefox, again threatens to take the No. 2 browser spot
As Firefox sheds share, Chrome gains ground; Google could bypass Mozilla on the desktop this month
Computerworld - Mozilla's Firefox browser has lost more than 11% of its user share in the last two months, giving Google's Chrome another shot at replacing it as the world's No. 2 browser, according to new data.
Statistics from Web measurement company Net Applications illustrated a rapid decline in Firefox and a corresponding upswing in Chrome during June and July.
At the end of July, Firefox owned a 18.3% share of all desktop browsers, down 2.3 percentage points in just two months, a decline of about 11%. Meanwhile, Chrome's user share stood at 17.8%, up 2 points since May and its highest mark since October 2012.
The half-a-percentage point gap between Firefox and Chrome was the smallest since May 2012, when it appeared certain that the latter would overtake Firefox to become the No. 2 browser behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
In fact, Net Applications for a few hours in early June 2012 reported Chrome ahead of Firefox, but retracted the claim after revised numbers showed Chrome trailed Firefox by just one-tenth of a percentage point.
That was Chrome's moment in the spotlight: Starting in June 2012, Google's browser began shedding share, falling to a low of 15.7% in May 2013. Firefox fared slightly better, but has also lost share in the last 12 months.
Most of the losses posted by Firefox and Chrome have gone to a resurgent Internet Explorer (IE). In the past year, IE has climbed 2.7 points to a 56.6% share, an impressive 4.7 points above it's all-time low in December 2011.
Analysts have credited IE's comeback to IE9 and IE10, the popular 2011 and 2012 editions, and the widespread adoption of Windows 7, which can run both those browsers.
If Firefox and Chrome continue the trends they've set in the last 90 days, Chrome will bypass Firefox this month; the longer-range 12-month trend would delay that until April 2014.
When mobile browsers are combined with those on the desktop, Google has already stolen second place from Mozilla.
According to Net Applications, about 12.4% of all users reached the Internet in July from a mobile browser, the highest percentage since February. Google's browsers -- Chrome on desktops and mobile devices, and the stock Android browser on smartphones -- accounted for a combined share of 18.7%. Mozilla, which has no measurable share on mobile -- though it offers Firefox on Android -- owned 16.1% of the overall browser market.
Another Web measurement firm, Ireland's StatCounter, long ago called Chrome the winner over not only Firefox, but also IE. For July, StatCounter pegged Chrome with a 43.1% share, with IE and Firefox far behind at 24.5% and 20.1%, respectively.
Unlike Net Applications, which calculates browser user share by tracking unique visitors, StatCounter measures page views. The two methodologies have generated increasingly-divergent figures for IE and Chrome. StatCounter's data, however, may indicate that Chrome users browse the Web more often or for longer periods than those who rely on IE or Firefox.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Internet in Computerworld's Internet Topic Center.
- Social Media Education: The New Edge for Success Failure to train for social media will cost your business money. A recent report showed how digitally prepared companies can unlock up to...
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!