Chrome overtakes Firefox as number two web browser

New data from StatCounter, an Irish metrics company, shows that for the first time, Google Chrome has overtaken Mozilla Firefox as the world's second-most used web browser on a monthly basis in November. Chrome now stands at 25.69 percent worldwide market share, compared to Firefox at 25.23 percent and Microsoft Internet Explorer at 40.63 percent.

While Chrome is not even a mere half percentage point ahead of Firefox according to this data, this milestone is still quite significant, especially considering Chrome's global market share gained 10.8 percent just this year. This huge leap in usage comes almost entirely at the expense of Firefox and Internet Explorer, which lost 5.5 percent and 6.3 percent share respectively.

Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter, had this to say about his company's data: "We can look forward to a fascinating battle between Microsoft and Google as the pace of growth of Chrome suggests that it will become a real rival to Internet Explorer globally. Our stats measure actual browser usage, not downloads, so while Chrome has been highly effective in ensuring downloads our stats show that people are actually using it to access the web also."

However, data from NetApplications, another research firm, shows Firefox still ahead of Chrome at 22.14 percent and 18.18 percent share respectively. Either way, though, the trends from this past year show that Chrome is gaining in popularity while Firefox seems to have plateaued. They both also have quite a way to go to topple the long-standing market leader, Internet Explorer.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft fights spam, saves lives

Next Story

Will Windows 8 Desktop App be dropped from ARM port?

63 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

More browsers equate to a better internet, it forces web developers to focus beyond the old ways of the "Internet Explorer-based rendering engine" and it forces Mozilla, Opera, Microsoft, Google, Apple and others to keep innovating and improving their browsers. IE9 (On Windows Vista+) is such a major step in the right direction that I can actually recommend it as a viable browser. On older Microsoft OS's (2000, XP, 2003), I always recommend that a user pick an alternative that they feel comfortable with due to the insecurity and "web standard" limitations of IE8; if Microsoft cared about browser market share, they would port at least the IE9 rendering engine down to XP/2003.

I wonder how many people out there using chrome actual know they are using chrome and not IE.
The way it can install itself as an add on from other pieces of software many people probably don't even know they installed it and have it set as default browser.

ColtSevers said,
I wonder how many people out there using chrome actual know they are using chrome and not IE.
The way it can install itself as an add on from other pieces of software many people probably don't even know they installed it and have it set as default browser.

You mean the same way IE comes installed by default with Windows and how most people don't know what a browser is?

Yeah, the more variety of browsers out there the better. Lazy web developers are forced to make sure their stuff works on all the popular engines.

Chrome is not better - its just being spammed more with other programs as in "fly by night" installers within the installer all PRE-CHECKED!! So it gets installed if you like it or not then takes over as default browser and some people just keep on using it.

Never have used or liked Firefox much, but IMO, Chrome is even worse! Don't have a clue what anyone see's in it?

It's not even close to fast on any of my computers, which is about the ONLY thing that could possibly make me want to use it. Not that any of the browsers are slow enough to make me set and say something like what is taking this thing so long to do anything?

Have no use for extensions except adblock and flashblock (which isn't that important) Why would I want to install things that are just going to start slowing down the browser when I'm concerned about speed? Dumb!!

I know I'm WAY different than most people here, thankfully, but I'll stick with my IE 9 and Seamonkey and once in a while Opera!

I can't say one way or another about the way that the percentage of users was determined, but I can say that however the stats were determined, they do not take corporate uses into account. For example, at my place of work there are two authorized browsers allowed on company machines: IE and Firefox. Attempts to load Google or Opera get flagged by our monitoring software as attempts to load unauthorized software and are blocked (yes, blocked). Chrome also has too many incompatibilities with company websites and certificates to be viewed as a stable, mature software package for general use.

As for my personal browser, well, I'm writing this reply under Firefox. Google Chrome is not loaded on my system, I have tried to use it for months at a time and ended up frustrated with its odd behavior and have removed it (and most all Google-related software) off my machine. My dislike of IE is higher, but as long as Microsoft requires it for downloading updates, well, I'm stuck with it.

Upshot: Not everyone likes Chrome, not everyone can use Chrome, not everyone will be allowed to obtain Chrome.

Google truly deserved this as Chrome is the best browser on earth...

Everybody seems to love Chrome...

Well done Google...

lomas said,
Google truly deserved this as Chrome is the best browser on earth...

Everybody seems to love Chrome...

Well done Google...


I don't love chrome at all.

...for me personally chrome compared to the latest firefox nightly it's junk.


I don't use firefox for addons I use it because works perfect for me on every aspect.

I cannot get along with Chrome, I've been a firefox user for far too long so don't like it out of my comfort zone. I've always found chrome to be quite bland, I've tried to use it but just don't get along with it. I don't get on well with Opera, Safari or IE either.

Comfort zone is all it is, everyone has their preferences of course

Finally! Firefox is just getting old now, I mean you still have to restart after adding themes or add-ons. Chrome, no problem.

Possession said,
Finally! Firefox is just getting old now, I mean you still have to restart after adding themes or add-ons. Chrome, no problem.

Addons using the new API don't require a restart. Developers are to be blamed, not Firefox

It's nice to see a browser doing so well without the company behind it breaking all sorts of laws and putting other companies out of business.

Hey man, to me the browser is the fastest and just works so seamlessly. I'm sure other people think the same.

You just can't help using something so good and free! : D

Order_66 said,
It's nice to see a browser doing so well without the company behind it breaking all sorts of laws and putting other companies out of business.

The best part is they are giving a company who practiced all that a run for their money.

I've been using chrome for a long time but lately I cannot open Amazon.com on it. Yea AMAZON.COM...weird isn't it? Ill probably switch back to IE again.

R-Metal said,
I've been using chrome for a long time but lately I cannot open Amazon.com on it. Yea AMAZON.COM...weird isn't it? Ill probably switch back to IE again.

This happens to me. Except CNN and WEATHER.com load but they freeze chrome or make it slow until I kill the process. I also can't load some sites but if I try it on my mobile or IE it will work.

Tekkerson said,
What kind of errors do you get? You should probably get some help on the forums, that's what Neowin is for!

I don't get any errors. it just keeps on loading the website but nothing comes up (the screen stays white).

R-Metal said,

I don't get any errors. it just keeps on loading the website but nothing comes up (the screen stays white).

Try the refresh button.

I find text renders best in IE9, which I use most for daily browsing., In Chrome I notice daily how bad text looks. I use Chrome most for web development. I dont use FF enough to draw a conclusion on its text rendering.

Firefox still has Chrome beat when it comes to Bookmark management and usage. (The ability to have the bookmark menu drop down button on the left side of the browser- or at least movable and the ability to have dividers).

Mainer82 said,
Firefox still has Chrome beat when it comes to Bookmark management and usage. (The ability to have the bookmark menu drop down button on the left side of the browser- or at least movable and the ability to have dividers).

You're kidding right? You can hide the menu with ctrl + b. You can create folders and pages on the fly by right clicking then hide it when you're done with it to save on screen real estate. I love it.

Mainer82 said,
Firefox still has Chrome beat when it comes to Bookmark management and usage. (The ability to have the bookmark menu drop down button on the left side of the browser- or at least movable and the ability to have dividers).

i just think Firefox 8 (or Firefox in general) just has a overall smoother experience than Chrome and it don't use a ton of RAM either. plus with extensions Firefox is got to be the overall best browser.

------------------------------

but i guess with Chrome overtaking Firefox that will probably just drive Firefox to devs to work on it's speed etc which is nothing but a good thing for us Firefox users as we can basically thank Chrome for making Firefox better as i think without Chrome Firefox would probably not be as good as it is lately.

Mainer82 said,
Firefox still has Chrome beat when it comes to Bookmark management and usage. (The ability to have the bookmark menu drop down button on the left side of the browser- or at least movable and the ability to have dividers).

Agreed, I like chrome but this is my biggest complaint. Simple is great and all, but having literally no toolbar customization is not acceptable.

I'm too addicted to Roboform and all my extensions to make the switch. I like the "cleaness" of chrome and the compatibility of "Ie" for many websites that just don't work with anything else.

I feel old now.

Hahaiah said,
I'm too addicted to Roboform and all my extensions to make the switch. I like the "cleaness" of chrome and the compatibility of "Ie" for many websites that just don't work with anything else.

I feel old now.

What? You know Chrome has autocomplete of forms natively, right? : ) Don't even need a plugin!

Look up "Chrome autofill options"

Kaoxt said,
Why is over a month news just now being reported? This happened a long time ago.

Ooh, I've never seen one of these up close before--the elusive "old news" poster! I've heard bards sing of this creature, but I thought for sure it could only be a myth!

Aerah.Eleganta said,
Firefox has became Firedumb and they are REALLY slow at working Firedumb back to Firefox

WTH, That makes no sense at all, make a sentence that actually does

Here in Argentina Chrome is the new IE6, the easy to use, "the one that everyone uses" browser the "non-power" users choose.
As long as I still choose to stick with Mozilla from the Netscape days, I must admit that the latest versions haven't been able to solve issues with memory consumption at all.

mfra said,
Here in Argentina Chrome is the new IE6, the easy to use, "the one that everyone uses" browser the "non-power" users choose.
As long as I still choose to stick with Mozilla from the Netscape days, I must admit that the latest versions haven't been able to solve issues with memory consumption at all.

I haven't had memory issues with firefox since the release of firefox 3. In fact on my machines chrome, ie9 and opera tend to use more memory. ESPECIALLY on my laptop running linux chrome by far uses the most memory.

Poor FF. Maybe, FF should take a slower development cycle, for example, 6-month cycle. This is in the middle between Google Chrome cycle and MS IE cycle

iwillneverstop said,
Poor FF. Maybe, FF should take a slower development cycle, for example, 6-month cycle. This is in the middle between Google Chrome cycle and MS IE cycle

Project lead: We keep hearing the fooking numbers!

iwillneverstop said,
Poor FF. Maybe, FF should take a slower development cycle, for example, 6-month cycle. This is in the middle between Google Chrome cycle and MS IE cycle

Chrome was steadily gaining share before firefox changed the release cycle. Firefox isn't losing share because it has frequent releases (frequent releases is a GOOD thing imo, at least for home users, business is a whole separate issue). Its losing share because its going up against google and microsoft. IE is installed by default, ie9 is listed as an "important" update that most users will select. Chrome is advertised on google and youtube.

I use Internet Explorer 9 and I love it. It's fast and intuitive. not to say I have not used other browsers, just have no compelling reason to switch.

Estienne Taylor said,
I use Internet Explorer 9 and I love it. It's fast and intuitive. not to say I have not used other browsers, just have no compelling reason to switch.

Addons, Options, Features.

De.Bug said,

Addons, Options, Features.


LOL, IE9 has a lot of options and features, and supports a handful of popular addons. But what's really LOLworthy is the post immediately above this one, where the guy using Chrome was met with "Use what you like!", while this post was met with "Yar IE missing things!"

De.Bug said,

Addons, Options, Features.

You won't get us to switch, we're too smart for nonsense talk like that ;P

Estienne Taylor said,
I use Internet Explorer 9 and I love it. It's fast and intuitive. not to say I have not used other browsers, just have no compelling reason to switch.

Cool use what works for you.

Estienne Taylor said,
I use Internet Explorer 9 and I love it. It's fast and intuitive. not to say I have not used other browsers, just have no compelling reason to switch.

don't have to convince you.. if you WANT to use an inferior product, that's on you. Popularity has NOTHING to do with functionality, it just means you LIKE IE, doesn't mean that is the BEST browser you can use.

If you want to continue using IE, that's great.. we will not stop you. There *ARE* better browsers however, despite your support of IE. Doesn't mean you are a saavy user, just one that knows what they like.

For the REST of us that know the difference, Firefox / Chrome are Still better, period.

I am a System Engineer, and I will guarantee that IE crashes MORE often has more problems than does either of the other 2. Maybe what you do doesn't make it obvious, we do almost 100% browser based apps, and IE completely sucks. Another thing you don't have is synchronization of your accounts like saving bookmarks, passwords, or URLs with online accounts.. you may find an add-on that will do it, but it's not integrated..

WE have one app in particular made with .NET 3.5. IE 9 will NOT load it, at all. IE8 works fine. What's really ironic is no matter what version of either Firefox or Chrome you use they work fine, no issue. So what does that tell you? Obviously IE9 has some issues.

Take it for what it's worth, and use what you prefer. This article isn't about you, it's GLOBAL usage anyway.. IE9 is NOT the best browser, it's thrown on Windows by default, so the numbers are skewed for usage, that is a FACT

rijp said,

don't have to convince you.. if you WANT to use an inferior product, that's on you. Popularity has NOTHING to do with functionality, it just means you LIKE IE, doesn't mean that is the BEST browser you can use.

If you want to continue using IE, that's great.. we will not stop you. There *ARE* better browsers however, despite your support of IE. Doesn't mean you are a saavy user, just one that knows what they like.

For the REST of us that know the difference, Firefox / Chrome are Still better, period.

I am a System Engineer, and I will guarantee that IE crashes MORE often has more problems than does either of the other 2. Maybe what you do doesn't make it obvious, we do almost 100% browser based apps, and IE completely sucks. Another thing you don't have is synchronization of your accounts like saving bookmarks, passwords, or URLs with online accounts.. you may find an add-on that will do it, but it's not integrated..

WE have one app in particular made with .NET 3.5. IE 9 will NOT load it, at all. IE8 works fine. What's really ironic is no matter what version of either Firefox or Chrome you use they work fine, no issue. So what does that tell you? Obviously IE9 has some issues.

Take it for what it's worth, and use what you prefer. This article isn't about you, it's GLOBAL usage anyway.. IE9 is NOT the best browser, it's thrown on Windows by default, so the numbers are skewed for usage, that is a FACT

Ummm, there are no versions of Windows that come with IE9 on by default.

max22 said,
No one cares. Most people use more than one browser.

It doesn't matter, the stats are based on number of page requests. The bottom line is there were more page requests using a Chrome browser than a Firefox browser in the month of November. It has nothing to do with the number of people who use each browser.

max22 said,
No one cares. Most people use more than one browser.

It's not about how many people use/install which browser. It's about how many page visits came from each browser. There is a huge difference. Some important commodities in this discussion are content, time and bandwidth.

Edited by Jebadiah, Dec 2 2011, 6:34am :

max22 said,
No one cares. Most people use more than one browser.

Do they? I, my parents and my girlfriend only use Firefox. In fact, the only people I know that use more than one browser are on Neowin.

I mean omitting a couple of milliseconds JS execution speed and support for experimental features used only in demo pages, all the major browsers are pretty much identical now, aside from their user interfaces, so I don't really see the point in using multiple browsers unless you're testing a website or similar.

Interesting developments.

Am I correct in thinking that these stats are for desktop browser usage only?

It would be interesting to also include the mobile browser variants of IE and Safari too (Android's browser is separate from Chrome, isn't it?).

Cute James said,
Interesting developments.

Am I correct in thinking that these stats are for desktop browser usage only?

It would be interesting to also include the mobile browser variants of IE and Safari too (Android's browser is separate from Chrome, isn't it?).


desktop only, but mind statcounter data has large margin error - at least +/-15%.

coth said,

desktop only, but mind statcounter data has large margin error - at least +/-15%.

Well there are so many people, including me, who block 3rd party analytics (euphemism for stalkers or trackers) from websites they visit. That itself causes the statistics to be wrong.

The difference is that, average users do not use adblock or request policy or hosts files or DNS servers or other tools to block trackers. So this statistic is only based on page visits by average users.

Jebadiah said,

Well there are so many people, including me, who block 3rd party analytics (euphemism for stalkers or trackers) from websites they visit. That itself causes the statistics to be wrong.

The difference is that, average users do not use adblock or request policy or hosts files or DNS servers or other tools to block trackers. So this statistic is only based on page visits by average users.

tell me more