Chrome Declared Winner
Written by Janet Swift   
Friday, 02 June 2017

As another month closes and new stats become available we take another look at browser market shares from StatCounter Global Stats and reflect on a recent blog posts from Mozilla and from ex-Mozillian, Andreas Gal with the title "Chrome Won".

In coming to this conclusion Gal  produced this forecast:


He commented: 

The data is from StatCounter and you can argue that the data is biased in a bunch of different ways, but at the macro level it's safe to say that Chrome is eating the browser market, and everyone else except Safari is getting obliterated.

Gal's chart only goes back to 2011 and stops in January this year but you come to exactly the same conclusion with our version of the chart.



Looking at the desktop browser trend, thiings look a bit less grim for Firefox, Chrome being the default Android browser is a big hurdle to overcome.


On the desktop Safari now occupies fourth place, running neck and neck with Other. The the latest figures Stat Counter figures for May reveal that in recent months when this dotted line has been on the increase, Other is mainly Edge.




By virtue of being the the default browser in Windows 10, Edge should be replacing IE but as we reiterated in Edge Still Being Edged Out our reading of the situation is that despite Microsoft's efforts to coerce or cajole Windows 10 users to stick with Edge:

users who are sophisticated enough to make an active choice of browser are ditching Edge in preference for Chrome. 

Gal's post, which was from a Firefox-centric viewpoint had been prompted by one from Eric Petitt, Director of Product Marketing for Firefox, on the Official Unofficial Firefox Blog, who admitted that he himself used Chrome at home as well as Firefox at work. Despite using Chrome he doesn't like its dominance writing:

Chrome, with 4 times the market share of its nearest competitor (Firefox), is an eight-lane highway to the largest advertising company in the world. Google built it to maximize revenue from your searches and deliver display ads on millions of websites. 

Beyond Google, the web looks more and more like a feudal system, where the geography of the web has been partitioned off by the Frightful Five. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are our lord and protectors, exacting a royal sum for our online behaviors. We’re the serfs and tenants, providing homage inside their walled fortresses. Noble upstarts are erased or subsumed under their existing order.

Firefox is undergoing a makeover intended to bring users back to it. According to Petitt:

It’s faster, lags less, hogs much less memory than chrome, and in June we’ll release multi-process Firefox, putting us at performance parity with Chrome in most of the ways we mere humans can actually perceive.

He also reports a new Mozilla campaign called "browse against the machine" founded on five ideas:

  • Firefox is leaner
  • Firefox is independent
  • Firefox gives you the most control over data and privacy
  • Firefox is not built by and for largest advertising company in the world
  • Firefox is is built by non-profit Mozilla

Whether, and to what extent this will enable Firefox to regain market share is an open question. As we recently reported in Firefox Makeover Loses Devs, the re-vamped version will lack the ability the create the advanced extensions that made popular in the first place. 

One point that is indisputable, and was made explicit in comments on Hacker News in response to the Andreas Gal blog post, is that having multiple browsers is a good thing and we should be grateful to Mozilla for providing us with one that is independent of the commercial interests of Google, Microsoft and Apple.




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Last Updated ( Friday, 02 June 2017 )