The battle for prominence in the browser market is one that has been going one for longer than most people would like to admit. Netscape, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla, and so many other companies have been vying for dominance in that space. Even now, with Internet Explorer the clear leader, there’s no telling how the market will change in the coming years. You never know when any of the browser contenders can make a splash and grab a larger share of the browser market..
In more recent years, the company that has made the biggest splash has been Google. The company’s Chrome browser started with little more than a hope at securing some market share around the world. Now, according to Net Applications, the browser owns nearly 11 percent of the market, putting it behind Internet Explorer and Firefox. And its growth has been nothing short of remarkable.
Looking ahead, there’s no telling if Chrome can continue its success and supplant Internet Explorer as the top browser in the world. But if the two browsers were to be judged solely on their value to customers, Chrome would already be the dominant force in the browser market.
Chrome is simply a better browser than Internet Explorer, even as Microsoft prepares to launch Internet Explorer 9 to take on Chrome 10.
Read on to find out why:
When users first start Chrome, they will find an extremely slimmed down interface. That’s on purpose. Google realizes that surfing the Web needs to be about getting to sites as quickly as possible without being held back by all the extra fluff. Chrome accomplishes that by achieving a level of simplicity that Internet Explorer can’t muster. For novice Web users especially, that simplified interface is extremely important.
2. Speed is everything
Internet Explorer has been criticized over the years for being slow. Getting to Web pages takes longer than it should. For the most part, other browsers are quicker. But Google Chrome is one of the fastest browsers on the market. In fact, a quick comparison in load times between Chrome 9 and Internet Explorer 8 in my testing reveals that the former consistently opens sophisticated pages more quickly than the latter. Until Microsoft can address that problem, which it says it will in Internet Explorer 9, those seeking fast browsing should opt for Chrome.
3. Security, anyone?
Security continues to be one of the biggest problems Web users face. On just about any platform, issues can arise that, if left unpatched, can wreak havoc on a person’s computer. But if one were to compare Chrome’s track record in security against Internet Explorer’s, it’s hard to see how Microsoft can compete. Dating back to the early days of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has faced serious security problems with its browser. And that trouble still erupts today.
4. The apps are quite appealing
Google offers the Chrome Web Store, a marketplace where people can find different applications to expand the usability of their browser. The store is filled with useful applications that make using Chrome a bit more enjoyable. Plus, the marketplace is growing at a relatively rapid rate. All that combines to make Chrome a more appealing browser than Internet Explorer.
Chrome’s Market Share Keeps Rising
5. The Ominbox is great
Google’s Chrome platform has been heralded by Web users for several reasons, but perhaps its most notable feature is the Omnibox. Doubling as an address bar and search bar, the Omnibox makes looking for content on Google Search or quickly going to a desired site much easier. It further contributes to Chrome’s aforementioned simplicity. It also offers users a level of appeal that no other similar features in other browsers can match.
6. It’s platform agnostic
Internet Explorer is available only to Windows users. Google Chrome, on the other hand, is available to those on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. That’s an important distinction. Internet Explorer might appeal to some folks, but it’s not as readily available as Google’s option. And as Mac OS X and Linux continues to gain popularity, that might come back to haunt Microsoft. Windows might be the dominant operating system in the world, but that doesn’t mean that Chrome’s platform agnosticism isn’t welcomed by users.
7. The market share can’t lie
Google’s Chrome browser has been quickly gaining market share. At the end of 2010, for example, the browser had 7.31 percent of the worldwide browser market, according to Net Applications. Internet Explorer, meanwhile, had over 60 percent share. Last month, according to Net Applications, Chrome’s market share rose to 10.93 percent. Internet Explorer’s market share declined to 56.77 percent. Google might still have a long way to go, but it seems that an increasing number of users are realizing that Chrome is for them.
8. Google being Google, Microsoft being Microsoft
When one compares Internet Explorer to Google Chrome, they need to think about the companies behind those platforms and what they’re really after. When someone uses Chrome, it seems that Google is most concerned with making the browsing experience more efficient for users. It’s a strategy that has worked extremely well for the company in the search market and is seemingly working again in the browser space. Simply put, it’s another example of Google being Google. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, is more of the same from Microsoft. It’s rather bloated, too closely linked to obsolete legacy products and apparently less concerned about usability than it could be. It’s a prime example of Microsoft being Microsoft. If market share is the guide, it seems less people are happy with that.
9. Rapid updates
Although Chrome has only been available for a little over two years, Google is now on to the tenth version of the software. Generally speaking, Google updates its browser every six weeks. That’s good news for users and it speaks to Google’s willingness to continue to improve upon its work. Granted, not all future updates will be major, but they should be important enough for users to justify downloading them.
10. It goes beyond the desktop
Google’s browser value to consumers and even enterprise customers goes beyond the desktop. The company’s mobile browser, available on Android-based devices, is highly regarded in the smartphone market. Moreover, Google significantly improved its browser for Android 3.0 Honeycomb, delivering full tabbed browsing, Incognito mode, and other features that will appeal to mobile customers. Google’s browser effort is the full package across several platforms. And that must be acknowledged.