Google Chrome Now the Top Browser

Carl Weinschenk

Few things have changed more drastically during the web era than the relative standing of web browsers.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer at one point didn’t just rule the roost. It more or less was the roost. Those days are very much over, of course. In May, Computerworld analyzed numbers from Net Applications that revealed that Microsoft’s browser user share percentage, which covers Edge and the retired IE, was only at 23 percent. At the beginning of 2016, Google’s Chrome took over as the top browser from the combined Microsoft products. During the balance of the year, Microsoft’s browsers lost more than 22 percentage points, Net Applications estimates.

Computerworld suggests that the pain that Microsoft felt last year is continuing. It lost almost a percentage point last month. Within those numbers, it seems that Edge is struggling to stay afloat while IE is struggling to break even or do slightly better:

In the last 11 months, IE's share dropped by 41%, while Edge's increased by only 11%. On its own, IE has been under the 20% mark since January, and fell to a new low of 17.6% in May. Meanwhile, Edge stayed flat for the fourth month in a row at 5.6%. All of those ingredients cooked up a debacle.

On the other end of the spectrum is Chrome. According to Net Applications, the browser added four-tenths of a percentage point in May. Computerworld expects it to crack the 60 percent mark by August.

The relative popularity of the browsers doesn’t mean that a struggling one doesn’t have a story to tell. Three writers at IP Pro do an exhaustive comparison of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Firefox. The elements assessed were boot time, security and privacy, memory consumption, browser benchmarks, design, other functionality and cross-platform interoperability.

The technical winner -- “going purely by the numbers” -- is Firefox. It has, according to the writers, “solid performance across the board, it’s attractive and well-designed, and it has a gleaming record for security and privacy awareness.” However, the writers ultimately opted for Chrome as the best browser. Though it doesn’t have the fastest Javascript performance, it offers an “incredibly slick” experience with the best cross-platform capabilities. The convenience of a single browser for phones, tablets and PCs was compelling to the test team.

The browser sector faces challenges in the growing popularity of apps and the presentation problems caused by advertising. Business Insider last week reported that early next year Chrome will implement ad-filtering tools that will improve browsers’ experience. At inception, the story says, 12 formats that are considered the most disruptive by the Initial Better Ads Standards will be tackled. Eight of these are mobile and four used in desktop applications.

Though they have been superseded to some extent by apps, browsers remain vital. For instance, Guillermo Escofet, Ovum's principal analyst for Digital Media, told ZDNet that apps consume 90 percent of the time mobile users spend interacting with outside entities each month. However, they interact with more websites than apps. That alone means that browser challenges must be met.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 13, 2017 9:42 AM saurab saurab  says:
Firefox is dead! Long live Firefox! Reply
Jun 14, 2017 1:56 PM Anna Anna  says:
Lately the choice for a better browsing experience is increasing a lot. After testing quite a few (Brave, UC browser, ...) I landed on my favorite one: Vivaldi Browser! It helps me to be super efficient by easily comparing sites side by side or checking the latest financial trends thanks to their sidebar. Reply
Mar 28, 2018 8:59 AM Jems Ford Jems Ford  says:
A browser is an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web. Many types of a browser are available on the internet. you can use the Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer etc. I think google chrome is the best browser. Reply
Mar 28, 2018 9:31 AM safari customer service safari customer service  says:
Yes, Google Chrome is a top browser because every people use this browser, a user of this browser is available all over the world, this is the best, I m also using this browser Reply
Mar 30, 2018 9:24 PM ERR_CONNECTION_RESET Chrome ERR_CONNECTION_RESET Chrome  says:
Chrome is totally the best browser right now. It is fast and secure. The UI is easy to navigate and the faster page loading makes it ideal for browsing the internet. Reply
Jun 1, 2018 7:33 AM Google Support Google Support  says:
I am also using the Google Chrome Browser & I think it is the best browser now. It is very fast & secure. So It has to be the in the list of the top browser in comparison to other browsers. Reply
Jul 23, 2018 8:45 PM james drag james drag  says:
I used the Google Chrome browser the most and it becomes the topmost browser in its usage. I love because it has simple UI and good features. Reply
Apr 19, 2019 6:55 AM samsung service center samsung service center  says:
Apart from the competition among the top browsers, I consider Chrome the best from my own user experience. Reply

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