Chrome Cracks 12.5% Share After Google I/O

Google Chrome hit 12.5 percent in May after a successful showing at Google I/O earlier in the month. Chrome is the gateway for Chrome OS, which is powering Samsung and Acer notebooks this month.

Google's Chrome Web browser hit 12.5 percent market share through May, up from 12 percent through April, according to Net Applications.

Microsoft Internet Explorer fell to 54.3 percent from 55.1 percent, while Mozilla Firefox edged up to 21.7 percent from 21.6 percent over the same period. Apple Safari gained as well, boasting 7.3 percent share from 7.1 percent share in April, the researcher found.

Chrome, which sees a new stable release every few weeks and is somewhere between versions 11 and 12, remains the fastest growing browser in the market.

Google rolled out Chrome 12 to beta May 9, loading up the build with better graphics by adding support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS, and bolstering its Safe Browsing technology.

After months touting Chrome on popular Websites, Google began running Chrome ads on TV to convince people to store their digital content in Google's cloud computing system. It was similar to Microsoft's marketing plan to push Microsoft Live for the cloud.

Google followed that major marketing play a week later by making Chrome and the Chrome operating system the focus of its second day at Google I/O 2011.

During that event, Google Chrome Vice President Sundar Pichai said Chrome had more than 160 million users, up from 120 million in December.

More importantly, Pichai solidified Chrome as the front door for Google's bid to put Chrome OS on computers.

Samsung and Acer are launching Chrome OS notebooks from Best Buy online and June 15, testing consumers appetites for a new Web-based computing model that depends on accessing all software through a browser.

Core to this is Google's Chrome Web Store, the Web app store that is gaining some steam. Google at I/O rolled out in-application payments in the Chrome Web Store, which is now available in 41 languages around the world and has seen 17 million app downloads since its launch late last year.

Rovio Mobile also made its first Angry Birds Web app available via Chrome, based on the WebGL graphics spec.