By Harry McCracken | Friday, September 30, 2011 at 9:19 am
Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer reports that Web analytics company StatCounter thinks that Google’s Chrome will pass Firefox to become the world’s second most popular browser by December. (Internet Explorer remains the top dog, but its share, which once surpassed ninety percent, continues to drop.)
If the trends established thus far this year continue, Chrome will come close to matching Firefox’s usage share in November, then pass its rival in December, when Chrome will account for approximately 26.6% of all browsers and Firefox will have a 25.3% share.
Those numbers are eerily close to the stats at Technologizer for the past month: 26.05 percent of you have used Chrome to visit us, and 25.06 percent have used Firefox. Chrome is already the top browser amongst youse guys: Safari is #3 at 20.31 percent, and IE is #4 at 19.07 percent. (We’re small enough that there’s plenty of flux in the rankings; things could be different next month.)
As Gregg points out, StatCounter isn’t the only company that tracks browser usage, and NetApplications, another big player, shows Chrome further behind Firefox. But no matter which numbers you look at, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that Chrome will pass Firefox at some point, absent some major change in market dynamics.
When it happens–if it happens–Chrome will have earned the honor: Overall, it’s a really neat browser, and the one I use most often. But I’ll still feel a twinge of sadness. The story of how Firefox reignited browser competition is one of the most delightful, inspiring ones in all of PC history, and it’s more fun to root for Mozilla’s army of volunteers than for Google. The good news is that competition in the browser market is so vibrant that anything could happen–and an outstanding version of Firefox could steal market share back from Chrome.