labels: IT news
What is wrong with Google Chrome? news
25 September 2008

After being launched with much fanfare earlier this month, Google's Chrome browser has been continuously losing the market share it gained immediately after introduction.

One major reason has been privacy concerns. (See: Google launches own internet browser 'Google Chrome' )

Google already admits to collecting personally identifiable information. In fact, conspiracy theorists were having a field day propounding the so-called ''real reason'' behind the seemingly altruistic introduction of a free and powerful browser technology. Theories include secret tracking devices to provision for protecting Google's interests against the company on whose product a majority of the world's computers run - Microsoft. (See: Browser Wars: How does Chrome rank against the competition?)

However, Google's reluctance to promote its own product has also contributed substantially towards its lack of popularity. Other than through sponsored links on its own search engine and a cursory mention on its social networking site Orkut, Google has done little to push Chrome on the Net-surfing populace.

This has led some analysts to speculate that the search engine giant is not very much interested in wresting market share from its more established rivals Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox.

Web metrics firm Net Applications has come out with figures that clearly show Chrome's declining popularity. During the first day of its release on 2 September, Google Chrome rocketed to 1 per cent of the market, Net Applications said. Since then, the upstart browser has fallen to 0.77 per cent as of last week, with the losses shared evenly between IE and Firefox. That figure is a dip from 0.85 per cent a week before.

''The trend line on Chrome still has a slight downward angle,'' explained Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Applications' executive vice president of marketing. "A bunch of people gave it a quick try, and its share has been sliding ever since.''

Net Applications believes fewer people are using Chrome out of concern with the amount of user data Google would gather through the browser, Vizzaccaro said. However, the executive also noted that Google launched Chrome quietly without a big marketing campaign, which could also affect the browser's ability to hold market share.

"If they take a marketing approach, I could see Chrome gain some traction," he said. "If not, then I could see it slowly fading away."

A report Tuesday from Net Applications showed Internet Explorer commanded 72.15 per cent of the browser market, Firefox followed with nearly 20 per cent, and Apple's Safari was in third with 6.37 per cent.

Both Firefox and Internet Explorer regained lost users last week, according to Net Applications. Internet Explorer's users increased .24 percentage points while Firefox regained .06 points. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox, however, were down for the month. Opera Software's Opera and AOL's now-defunct Netscape were also down.

Safari, the only browser not affected by Chrome, was still on the plus side for September, ending last week up 0.45 percentage points before Chrome, although that was down from the previous week's 0.68-point net gain.


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What is wrong with Google Chrome?