Google Chrome Nears 8.5%, Nibbles at Firefox, IE

Google's Chrome Web browser boasts an 8.47 percent market share in October, taking points from Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, according to researcher Net Applications.

Google Chrome rose to 8.47 percent market share through October as the upstart Web browser took small bits of share from leader Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

Chrome had reached the cusp of 8 percent share through September before easily vaulting over the barrier in the just-completed month, according to new data from market researcher Net Applications.

IE fell to 59.26 percent from 59.65 percent in September, while Firefox dipped to 22.82 percent from 22.96 percent in the period. Apple Safari inched up a tad, from 5.27 percent in September to 5.33 percent in October.

Chrome's share gains are tough to quantify. Google accelerated its stable builds of Chrome after Version 5.0 and now launches a new version every six weeks instead of three months.

Net Applications found that while Chrome 6.0 topped 8 percent in mid-October, it is now near zero usage share after being replaced by Google Chrome 7.0 in the last two weeks.

"This matches the same pattern in early September where Chrome 6.0 completely replaced Chrome 5.0," the researcher said. "The total lifespan of Chrome 6.0 as a browser with significant usage share was about two months."

One other slight possibility for the uptick in Chrome in October is the launch of Google TV over the last two weeks.

Sadly, Google TV runs Chrome 5.0, which is now found on only 0.24 percent of all PCs.

Google will have to push out newer versions of Chrome for Google TV to keep users of the TV-Web surfing service happy.

Overall, Chrome's growth has been impressive in its brief two and a half years of life. The browser has posted solid gains in 2010 with the exception of July, when it dipped from 7.24 percent in June to 7.16 percent.

If it weren't for that down month, Chrome might still be on pace to reach 10 percent by January 2011, as eWEEK expected.

With 1.5 percent share to go, barring an alleged launch of a netbook based on Google Chrome Operating System and the Chrome browser, that now seems unlikely.