Google’s Chrome is Britain’s second most popular browser, a sign of the internet giant’s increasing grip on the UK search market.
Three years after launch, Chrome last month captured 22% of UK users and marginally overtook Mozilla’s Firefox browser, according to the web metrics firm Statcounter. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is losing market share to Chrome but remains the most popular browser for UK users with 45% – although it has a head start by being pre-installed on almost all computers sold in Britain. Apple’s Safari is UK number four, with a 9% share.
Google’s rise in the browser market is in part down to nationwide advertising – Chrome is the first Google product advertised on British TV – but is largely attributed to its speed.
Lars Bak, the Google engineer responsible for Chrome, said the goal had never been to attract a huge user base, but to energise a dormant browser market: “Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it’s also about the minimal design and the way it handles security. If you as a user try [to load] a webpage and it feels snappy, it’s really hard to go back [to another browser]. It has shown that people spend more time interacting with the web.”
Unlike most of Google’s talent based at its Mountain View headquarters in California, Bak works from a converted farmhouse in the Danish countryside two hours from Copenhagen. He has become obsessed with speed, and despite numerous tests that show Chrome outstrips all rivals, he thinks it could be much faster. “You should never be happy with [existing] speed,” he said. “Of course it gets harder to make substantial gains, but it’s all healthy competition. From the beginning we wanted everybody to be fast, and now all browsers are fast. I’m absolutely flabbergasted [by the improvements made by rival browsers].”.. Read More [via guardian]