Google Overtakes Microsoft in Browser Market Share

By AL C. Dorosti
Epoch Times Staff
Created: May 24, 2012 Last Updated: May 27, 2012
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Google’s Chrome Web browser shortcut is displayed on a laptop screen next to that of Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.(Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Google’s Chrome Web browser shortcut is displayed on a laptop screen next to that of Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer.(Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

It has taken a while, but Google Chrome is finally the top browser in the world, according to a recent study.

According to Ireland-based Internet metric analysis company StatCounter, Google Inc.’s Chrome Web browser surpassed Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer as the world’s most used browser.

Unlike shorter periods of time during March of this year, this latest milestone marks the first time Google Chrome held the global No. 1 position for an entire week–May 7 through 13–with 32.76 percent over Internet Explorer’s 31.94 percent market share. The other leading browsers are Mozilla’s Firefox with over 25 percent usage, and Apple’s Safari at nearly 14 percent.

While globally, particularly in the Asian and South American regions, Google Chrome is the browser leader, in the United States and Canada Internet Explorer still has a sizable margin lead of 38.3 percent versus Chrome’s 25.3 percent usage. Observers speculate that this is likely due to the heavy usage of Internet Explorer within corporations and larger enterprises that depend on Microsoft’s support.

Critics, including Microsoft, have expressed skepticism in regard to StatCounter’s calculation methodology. Unlike other major Web analysis firms, StatCounter measures raw page views on nearly 3 million participating websites rather than calculating unique visitors, then juxtaposes geographical browser differences against their own network in order to determine its global browser statistics.

Despite the debate over the data, usage of Google Chrome has increased exponentially largely due to Google’s continual focus on innovative improvements in browser speed, functionality, security, and ease of use. In stark contrast with Microsoft, Google has developed 18 versions of the Chrome browser in a little less than four years, whereas only nine versions of Internet Explorer have been developed since the late 1990s.

Internet Business Front and Center
Google’s attention to the browser, despite its current nominal revenue return, is driven principally because the Web is still the integral core of the company’s business strategy.

With Chrome, Google has created an all-encompassing portal for users through which their multitude of search-derived products and services are seamlessly integrated and accessed. This integration allows Google to better track and channel users to ultimately deliver more effective and profitable targeted advertisements.

As software development continues its evolutionary shift away from archaic applications tied to individual personal computers and operating systems toward an increasingly mobile and cross-platform Web environment, Google believes the browser will become even more critical for its long-term business success.

If the flourishing Android operating system along with the developing Chrome browser-based Chrome OS operating system is any indication, Google appears to be intelligently planning for this future.


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