Google’s Chrome browser has jumped ahead of Firefox in the UK following a massive advertising campaign
Chrome, which launched three years ago, registered 22 percent of UK users and was marginally ahead of Firefox, according to Statcounter. Internet Explorer remained the top browser with 45 percent of users, while Safari was in fourth place with 9 percent.
Google began advertising Chrome in the UK in December 2009, first with billboards and this year moving on to television advertising – the company’s first UK television advertisements.
The browser was No. 3 worldwide, with 20.65 percent of the market, but is expected to surpass Firefox on the global stage as well. Internet Explorer has 43 percent of the worldwide market, Statcounter said.
Lars Bak, the Google engineer behind Chrome, attributed the browser’s success to its speed rather than the advertising blitz, saying the browser’s snappiness is addictive.
Bak said the browser was intended to spur rivals to improve their speed and told the Guardian he was “absolutely flabbergasted” by the improvements in rival browsers.
“You should never be happy with [existing] speed,” Bak told the newspaper. “From the beginning we wanted everybody to be fast, and now all browsers are fast.”
Besides its speed and the advertising, other reasons for Chrome’s rise include accelerated release cycles, which means Google is putting snazzy new features that other browsers lack in front of users faster. A case in point is the Chrome Speech capabilities to enable voice search on the desktop.
Chromebook versus Mozilla Boot 2 Gecko
In May, Google began pushing Chrome as the centre of users’ life experiences, planting a marketing seed for Chrome OS notebooks.
The first Samsung Series 5 Chromebook launched on 15 June, while the Acer AC700 machine shipping in July. Google in July also made abid to popularise Series 5 Chromebooks with a deal for free Wi-Fi on US flights.
Meanwhile, Mozilla has announced its own mobile OS project, Boot to Gecko (B2G) which will run on tablets. While based on Android, B2G will use “as little of Android as possible”, and keep true to the idea of open source, its developers have said.