Google’s Chrome browser is coming on strong in the worldwide marketplace. The browser, which just a few years ago held only single-digit browser market shares, now controls 16.4 percent of that space, according to the latest data from NetApps. And although that’s still a far cry from Internet Explorer’s 55.8 percent share, it has taken a significant chunk out of Microsoft’s browser dominance over the years.
With the latest Chrome launch, version 27, Google is once again proving that it wants to eventually match Microsoft in the browser market. The upgrade isn’t major, but it includes some fixes to speed and security and other improvements to keep users happy. Better yet, it allows for spoken conversation, meaning voice integration is finally available in the platform.
But a discussion on what all of the new features in Chrome 27 are might not give a true picture of the browser market. Looking at Chrome itself, however, tells a much different story and explains how the browser went from being an obscure also-ran to being an effective alternative to Internet Explorer.
1. Blame it on Google
If Google weren’t the company behind Chrome, there would literally be no chance that the browser would have gotten off the ground. The browser market is chock-full of lesser-known companies trying to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Mozilla, and they’ve all failed. Chrome and perhaps Apple’s Safari are the only browsers to actually get it right. In Chrome’s case, it happened because Google had the patience and determination to slowly win converts to its browser.
2. Simplicity means something
If the latest software and online trends have taught us anything, it’s that customers are responding well to simplicity. That’s perhaps why Chrome has come on so strong over the last few years. The browser is much simpler than Internet Explorer, while Safari and Firefox have been heavily modified to mimic Chrome’s look and feel. Chrome’s simplicity is a major selling point.
3. An emphasis on security
Google should be given credit for its dedication to security with Chrome. The company allows third parties to effectively take Chrome apart and try to exploit it in any way they’d like. If they’re successful, they can earn cash rewards. The fixes are then incorporated into the browser to keep it safe. That has helped make Chrome one of the most secure browsers on the market and certainly more secure than Internet Explorer.
4. An even stronger emphasis on integration
Google has made the smart decision to fully integrate its many services into Chrome. That means that users can access Gmail, Maps and other companies’ services, if they’re signed in within the Chrome browser. Simply having access to Google Search in the address bar is a huge plus. Full integration really matters.
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5. Mobile devices are helping
Mobile devices are leading the charge for Chrome right now. Chrome is the standard browser that ships with all Android devices. In a large number of cases, people are not downloading other options, like Opera. That’s good news for Google and the company’s market share.
6. Google Drive support
With Chrome, Google offers 5GB of free storage in its Drive service. That might not seem like a lot, but it does add up, when one considers that they can store all kinds of Web pages, documents and other files through Drive. And that’s all because of Chrome.
7. Sharing of information
When users download Chrome and input their personal Google credentials, everything they do on the browser can be saved and transported to other devices on which they use the software. So, for instance, if they want access to their bookmarks on their Galaxy S 4, they can have that. If they have multiple computers and want to see their history, they can do so. It’s a great feature.
8. Speedy performance is a big factor
Google’s Chrome is perhaps best-known for its speed. When Google first launched the browser, the company said that it would be able to beat out competitors on speed—and it was right. Now, years later, Chrome is still one of the speediest browsers out there, depending on the computer a person is running. Chrome’s speed is a huge selling point.
9. It’s all about the add-ons
Google made a solid decision in following Mozilla’s lead and allowing for extensions in Chrome. Those extensions allow users to add a host of features to the browser and make it more functional. Best of all, Google’s Chrome marketplace is growing rapidly, meaning developers are happy to bring their creations to the browser. Over time, that means more and more functionality.
10. Google is pushing the “Chrome” brand hard
Chrome’s success might also have a lot to do with Google doing as much as it can to push the Chrome brand. The company has a Chrome-based operating system, devices running the software are called Chromebooks, and everywhere one turns, they’re seeing the company’s Chrome ball logo.