Google Chrome Grows Market Share

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Google Chrome held a 6.1 percent market share throughout March and is expected top 10 percent by the end of the year

New figures from Net Applications has shown that Google’s web browser, Chrome, held a 6.1 percent market share throughout March, and is on track to grow to double digits by the end of the year.

The gain comes after Chrome grabbed 5.6 percent market share through February, according to the researcher.

Chrome’s latest gains may have come at the expense of market leader Microsoft Internet Explorer, which sat at 60.7 percent through March from 61.6 percent through February.

Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari browser, which Google passed in December, both grew a bit. Firefox held 24.5 percent market share through March, compared with 24.2 percent through February. Safari rose from 4.5 percent the last period to 4.7 percent through March.

Chrome held only 1.6 market share through March 2009, toiling its way to 2 percent in May last year and 3.2 percent in September, before jumping to 4.6 percent in December.

Chrome began seeing great pickup after 8 December, when Google launched beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux. Chrome notched 5.2 percent of the market through January and 5.6 percent through February before hitting the 6.1 percent figure last month.

Chrome needs only to gain a percentage point of share every two months to top 10 percent by December, a feat that is certainly attainable given Chrome’s current growth spurts.

It is unclear where the current growth is coming from. Google is carefully grooming its browser, regularly upgrading its versions for Windows; the company added machine translation and privacy features in March, and has been nurturing extensions.

But Google is not heavily marketing Chrome even as it is developing the Chrome Operating System, the layer on top of which Chrome will sit and allow users to access web applications.

Chrome OS is slated to appear on netbooks by December 2010. Should Google meet its deadline goals, Google can expect greater growth for the browser through next holiday season.

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