Chrome Slips By Firefox in the War of the Browsers
While Mozilla has mostly been in the headlines this week for news related to contributions made by its new CEO Brendan Eich, another piece of meaningful news regarding the company is largely being ignored: Google Chrome has moved past Firefox to take second place in desktop browser market share, according to web traffic stats from Net Applications. In March, Chrome grabbed 17.5 percent of desktop brower traffic, while Firefox sat in third place with 17.2 percent. This is a first for Chrome, according to Net Applications' data, and is possibly driven by Google's extensive advertising for Chrome and Mozilla's new focus on Firefox OS and mobile technology.
As I've been covering, Google is transforming the Chrome browser into a robust platform that features many of the capabilities of a full-blown operating system. In fact, the company is steadily blurring the lines between browsers and operating systems--a trend the company launched when it began developing Chrome OS alongside the Chrome browser.
For months now, Google has been pursuing a strategy that allows users of the Chrome browser to easily find and run "packaged apps" just like sophisticated web apps that users of Chrome OS are used to running. Chrome packaged apps are now available in the Chrome Web Store.
Meanwhile, Chromebooks--portable computers running Google's Chrome OS--are gaining popularity and they present the Chrome browsing interface as the de facto interface on the desktop. While all this is going on, Mozilla has been shifting its whole company strategy toward Firefox OS and being a player in mobile technology. That may be becoming a distraction in terms of focusing on Firefox.
Net Applications' data also showed that Internet Explorer is still the clear leader among desktop browsers, with 58 percent market share during March.