According to data provided by StatCounter, Google Chrome is currently in position to rise above Mozilla’s Firefox and become the second most popular Web browser by December 2011. Google’s aggressive advertising for the speedy browser has helped growth over 2011. Starting with 15 percent of the market share in January 2011, Google’s current market share has risen to 23.6 percent as of September 2011. Google’s rapid gain in market share is likely attributed to users defecting from Internet Explorer and Firefox. Microsoft’s user share has dropped from about 46 percent at the start of the year down to 42 percent and Mozilla’s user share has dropped a little over five percent in the same time period.
Other browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Opera have experienced very little growth over the last year. In order to compete with Google’s rapid release cycle for Chrome, Mozilla has shifted from long development cycles for each version of the browser to a similar pattern of quicker releases. Google’s six week turnaround on new versions of the browser has helped the search company gain fans within the tech community and automatic updating of the software has also been helpful for people lacking technical skills with computers. Google has also been successful with a national advertising campaign around adoption of the browser, the most popular being a commercial playing to the nostalgia of growing up.
While StatCounter foresees a more rapid adoption of Google Chrome, competing firm NetApplication sees a wider gap between the various browsers and predicts that Chrome will overtake Firefox sometime next year. They also predict that Internet Explorer’s market share will drop below 50 percent of all users. Regarding mobile browser market share, Apple is currently in the lead with Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch with over 50 percent of all mobile users. Google is in second place with about 16 percent market share through the Google Android OS.