Google Chrome: It's Come A Long Way in a Very Short Time
It's hard to believe how much success Google has had with its Chrome browser in such a short period of time. Quick, how old is Chrome? You may be surprised to hear that the browser debuted as recently as December of 2008 (although a pre-release build was available a couple of months before that). A little over two and a half years after its launch, Chrome is a formidable application that can lead Google in numerous promising directions.
Depending on whose market share numbers you pay attention to, Chrome has between 13 and 20 percent of the global browser market as of June, 2011. That's nothing to shake a stick at. Firefox has just over 20 percent share, but it is a much older application. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer continues to lose market share, holding about half the global browser market according to most reliable analysts.
Beyond simple browser market share, though, Chrome has emerged as a platform that Google can leverage in powerful ways. Chrome is the central interface for Google's Chrome OS, and for up-and-coming Chromebook portable computers.
As you're probably aware, Google is actively pursuing Facebook's hegemony on the social networking front, and Facebook has reportedly begun to block an extension for the Chrome browser that is designed to extract connected friends from Facebook and import them into other social networking platforms, including Google's. If that isn't a sign of Chrome becoming a powerful platform, what is?
As is also true with the open source Android mobile OS, Google has delivered a lot with its young browser in a very short amount of time. One has to wonder what Chrome will be ushering in when it reaches the ripe old age of five.