Google Chrome Surges Past 9%, Perhaps from Chrome OS Netbooks

Google's Chrome browser jumped to 9.27 percent in November from 8.5 percent in October, which could be a sign that Chrome OS netbooks are being used by Googlers.

Google's Chrome Web browser surged to 9.27 percent market share in November, up from 8.5 percent in October, according to the latest statistics from Net Applications.

The .77 percent gain appeared to come at the expense of Microsoft Internet Explorer, which dropped to 58.41 percent from 59.18 percent a month ago, and Mozilla Firefox, which nudged down a tad to 22.81 percent from 22.83 percent.

Of the major browsers, only Apple's Safari gained share for the month, growing to 5.57 percent from 5.36 percent in October.

But the star of the November browser numbers was Google's Chrome 7. Share for Google's latest build of the OS grew 5.64 percent in November, second in growth only to Firefox 3.6, which saw a 6.09 percent gain between February and March 2010.

The gain in Chrome 7.0 and in Chrome share overall is likely due to the internal use of Chrome Operating System netbooks by Google employees and computer maker partners, such as Acer and Lenovo.

Chrome OS was due this year, but has been pushed back for reasons Google won't discuss with the media.

Chrome OS netbooks are unlikely to launch in time for Christmas but could appear early next year, vaulting Chrome's market share even further as the main access point for the machines.

Chrome also received some more exposure from the launch of Google TV, which still runs Chrome 5.0. However, the market share numbers don't bear that out.

Chrome 5.O fell from 2.36 percent share in September, to .26 percent in October, when Google TV launched, to .20 percent in November, the first full month of Google TV's existence on the Logitech Revue and Sony TVs and Blu-ray players.

Google also began running Chrome print ads in November in the Los Angeles Times and other publications.

With increased advertising and awareness, and Chrome OS netbook test flights, there's no reason why Chrome can't hit the 10 percent market in earlier 2011, possibly by the end of January, as eWEEK speculated in April.