Google Chrome has finally surpassed Internet Explorer as the Web’s most used browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has enjoyed years of domination as the No:1 web browser, but according to StatCounter the breakthrough happened last week (17th May 2012) with Chrome now taking the top spot. This shift in favour of Google’s browser has been expected considering Google Chrome overtook Internet Explorer on 18th March 2012 for just for that day.
Google Chrome has beaten off competition from Safari, Firefox, Opera and obviously Internet Explorer to gain the number 1 spot as the most used web browser in the world. Google also enjoyed success on their mobile platform as the Android mobile platform became the most popular browser for March. So what are the keys to Google’s success?
Internet Explorer (IE) has enjoyed so much success largely due to the fact that many Microsoft based computers are delivered with IE pre-installed, particularly in the public sector and within large companies. There was also a lack of competition in the early internet days which helped IE consolidate its’ position.
So for those of us that actually decide which browser to use what are the main factors for consideration?
To declare my hand.. I’m a Firefox fan. Firefox is produced by Mozilla and the main reason I prefer it is because of the excellent browser plugins it offers. As a marketer, the ability to view information on a websites page rank, back links, pages indexed, social media importance is invaluable. Likewise our technical staff regularly use Firefox plugins such as ‘Firebug’ to review code.
Advantages of Google Chrome
- Since its launch in 2008, Google have come to understand what their customers want and constantly update Chrome’s features to provide the services to match. They have created a wealth of extensions for their browser including Offline Google Mail, a Google scheduler and extensions for the main social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. These offerings have encouraged users to make the switch to Google Chrome.
- Hailed by many as the fastest web browser, the speed at which Google Chrome can load and display pages as well as download data from the Internet makes it a popular choice. People lead busy lives and whether they are using the Internet for work or play, they want their browser to be quick. Google use WebKit for rendering web pages. Webkit is also used by Safari and is known to be very fast.At MediaLightbox we understand the ‘need for speed’ as clients demand a quick service. That’s why we’ve invested so heavily in product development to ensure our digital asset management system is equally powerful for customers requiring online file storage or those that require an easy to use online file sharing system.
- Google Chrome offers an incognito mode for web browsing. Also offered by Safari, this allows you to browse without appearing in your history, it won’t leave any cookies and the only thing that will show are the files you have downloaded. This focus on privacy is seen to be a very important factor for many users.
- Google has recognised that the majority of customers world-wide don’t like change and will fight it. So Google have made the transition process from other browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox a smooth one. A lot of the keyboard shortcuts, bookmarks and other features are the same and it does not look unfamiliar. You can even port your browser history and saved passwords when switching browsers so the transition has become seamless.
- Google Chrome incorporates an intelligent start page which displays your most used web pages. Internet Explorer 9 also uses a similar feature but finally both companies have got it right; the most used pages are actually the pages that you use the most and will want to use.
- Google is a massive global company and their product offering is no different. Most of the extensions for Google Chrome are produced in numerous major languages increasing its global appeal. This recognition of globalisation is proving very successful as Google Chrome moves ahead of its biggest rivals.
Here at MediaLightbox we like to be fair so we cannot praise Google all day and so we now turn our attentions and praise to Chrome’s most bitter rival, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is seen to be going out of fashion but it was the market leader for so many years and they are employing strategies to maintain this position.
Advantages of Internet Explorer
- Microsoft places a heavy emphasis on the privacy and security of their users. Initiated in Internet Explorer 7, their Phising filter is extremely useful. This let users know when they have entered a false website created by scammers and stops them giving out personal and sensitive information such as credit card details. This focus on security has meant that many users are still staying loyal to Internet Explorer.
- Internet Explorer 9 supports HTML5. This means that you can play videos and games online without another plugin or software such as Adobe Flashplayer. This is a major USP for Microsoft and has been heavily publicised by the company.
- Recognising that Google Chrome is a very fast web browser and this a main factor in explaining its usage, Microsoft have increased the speed of Internet Explorer 9, aiming to become the fastest web browser to compete for market leadership.
- Internet Explorer 9 has adopted a clean and modern interface only displaying the forward and back buttons, the url bar and tabs that the user has open. Microsoft have recognised that they are losing users and so this modern look and cutting-edge marketing campaign has been employed to show users that Microsoft offers the same features as their rivals but have stayed true to what made Internet Explorer so popular.
Google will now seek to consolidate their position as the most popular web browser to top the usage stats for May and then into the future. However they will face fierce rivalry from Microsoft, as trends show that weekend usage figures show Internet Explorer to be in the lead.
All browsers come with their advantages and disadvantages and the choice comes down to personal opinion and which best meets your needs. What is for certain is the fact that the intense rivalry between Google and Microsoft will be very advantageous for us as consumers because their offerings are constantly being improved and as a result, our user experience. The fact that we can now switch browsers and port our saved bookmarks, passwords, browsing history and favourites when transitioning between browsers makes the change much easier. Hence, Google will have to stay on their toes to ensure they keep Chrome at the No: 1 spot, otherwise they may be overtaken!
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