Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Chrome now the most popular browser (statcounter.com)
142 points by rocco on June 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments

This graph is about a month old at this point, it should update with the newest stats tomorrow. Until then, you can see the day-by-day stats for the past month here:


Here's another good one that splits the IE line into IE 6/7/8 lines, and the Firefox line into 3.6/4/5+ lines:


Also be sure to check out the plurality-browser-share-by-country view via the world map:


Granted, it's hard to know who to trust regarding browser market share stats. But more data points are always useful.

Thanks for the links - it's incredible to see how much Chrome peaks during the weekends at the expense of IE!

It really demonstrates (imho) the technical lag of companies: During the week people are browsing at work and it looks like many are still shackled to IE. But on the weekend they go home and use what they want, and that is clearly chrome. Kind of amazing to visualize at this granularity what pops out.

Yeah, exactly. Check this "visual proof that employees are still required to use Internet Explorer at work" post I did a while back:


It might also be that on weekends there are fewer internet users in general, but with a higher percentage of the more technically aware ones...

I think that both of these (plus a number of effects yet unnamed) affect it.

One of his links, the by version: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combine...

Has some interesting information that I think sheds more light on this:

IE8 and IE7 both have weekend dips. (IE6's usage is too small to matter anymore). (IE8 dips almost 25% of it's total, IE7 significantly dips almost 50% but it's already a tiny amount).

However, Chrome, IE9, Safari iPad all have weekend peaks. Even Safari itself has an almost unnoticeable uptick on the weekend.

This leads me to believe that almost 4% of all internet users use IE7/8 at work and use to Chrome/IE9/iPad on the weekend.

This is exactly right. Many of the largest companies simply don't want to handle the almost impossible workload on getting everyone onto a new browser.

In some ways it would be more fair to blame Fortune 500 companies than MS for the IE tie in.

If even the State Department is moving to Chrome, there is hope yet.

>But on the weekend they go home and use what they want, and that is clearly chrome

At least some of that traffic comes from preinstalled OEM copies, which Google pays the OEMs for having Chrome preinstalled as the default browser.

Also, it comes bundled with things like Java, Acrobat Reader,CCleaner, Divx Player, RealPlayer, Avast and Flash etc., so if people just click next, which most tend to do, they end up with Chrome on their machine. I think it used to come with Skype before Microsoft bought it.





Not to mention heavily pushing Chrome on Google properties like the search page, Youtube, Gmail etc. etc.

Google chat once hung in my Gmail tab in Opera, and when I reloaded it I got the message which said something like "Slow browser? Switch to Chrome.."

So Google's effectively buying marketshare with their search profits to cut out the middlemen like Firefox and Opera. Browsers like Firefox, Opera do not have the resources to push their browser this way and get people to try them.

I didn't realize Chrome was being preloaded by OEMs. It's nice to see that OEMs are actually using their freedom to customize Windows installs to do something socially valuable for a change.

Don't forget Microsoft actually show a browser choice screen when you install windows now. OEMs usually disable that and force a browser on you which doesn't make them good people.

Personally, I'm not sure the term 'socially valuable' applies here as you're giving over your details to a nagware tracking and advertising company at heart. If it was Firefox, I'd agree.

I'm happier to use IE over Chrome as Microsoft have features like tracking protection lists built in and a tough stance on tracking.

I'm happier to use Firefox over both though.

You're right. Those Google guys are shifty folks. They should be more like the paragons of excellent product development and non-monopolistic business practices like the good guys at Microsoft.

Holy false dichotomy batman. Just because one company is abusive doesn't mean that you need to cheerlead another abusive company. Google is hurting Firefox and Opera by their actions too.

How exactly is Google hurting Firefox? Is it just by taking away browser share?

Because last time I checked Google provides the majority of Firefox's revenue. (Though last time I checked was like 5 years ago, so that may have changed in the interim)

> Google is hurting Firefox

...By giving Mozilla $300MM a year?

Don't equate a business marketing/advertising decision maximizing Google profits with philanthropy.

Then it sounds like Mozilla is hurting themselves by relying on cash flow from their competitors.

Mozilla doesn't compete with Google on search. (Regardless of that, your statement is quite the non-sequitur, because Mozilla optimizing their income isn't "hurting themselves")

Dude, have you ever considered doing anything other than cheerleading MS and hating on Google. I have never seen a single post by you on here or Slashdot that was not either defending MS or being negative towards Google in some way. How pathetic.

I am sorry, I didn't know I was supposed to cheerlead Google and Apple and hate on Microsoft on here like the hundreds of other commenters. I am sure HN needs more of them.

Is there some place where this policy is listed on HN(apart from being obvious in the "pathetic" moderation, story selection and flagging) so that I and the few others who don't share your Google and Apple worship can pack up and leave once for all and not subject you to the horrors of alternate opinions or facts that you seem to find very uncomfortable and pathetic? Or maybe I'll just do what you tell me to and go away, and you can worship your Gods in peace without heretics getting your way.

I like how the many commenters that only submit comments and stories that are heavily anti-MS and pro-Google/Apple are not pathetic but I am. I am sure you find them awesome.

Hey man the argument you seem to be a part of here (both sides) seems really dualistic and considering how poorly concepts and events in real life fit binary interpretations, I think you could reduce your stress by taking a broader approach.

Book I loved on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Language-Thought-Action-Fifth-Edition/...

Have you considered anything other than cheerleading Google and Android and hating on Apple/MS? And I like how you attack him personally and call him pathetic because you have no answer to his post and thus want to wish it away. How pathetic.

You're One To Talk Being Worse Than RecoiledSnake.you Are Probably One Of The Most Obnoxious Google Haters On This Site. Also I Just Looked Through Tysons Post History And He Is In No Way A Google Cheerleader Or Microsoft Hater. Consider Growing Up.

P.s. Ignore My Capital Letters. Jellybean doesn't work well with Swype yet.

The weekend peaks have gradually shifted from Firefox to Chrome. Opera and Safari also have it to a lesser extent, but Firefox has completely lost the pattern.

See http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-daily-20080701-2012053....

What I find puzzling is the stable amplitude of the weekend shift (~5%) despite IE's lost of popularity.

Note also that Firefox is once again growing (slower than Chrome, but still).

Akamai just recently released their statistics, which shows a completely different picture: http://www.akamai.com/io

Akamai is probably trying to identify unique sessions or clients, and showing stats based on that.

Statcounter is tracking browser usage roughly by percentage of requests. They do some corrections, for instance they try to account for Chrome's prefetching.

More people (or more computers) might use IE as their default browser, but if Chrome is responsible for more activity (requests), what's the more popular browser?

> Chrome is responsible for more activity (requests)

Does anyone know if the prefetching/prerendering Chrome does is a significant portion of web traffic? Because that could easily skew request-based analytics.

Statcounter claim to adjust for chrome's prefetching, but they never said how (headers?)

Probably the page visibility API: https://developers.google.com/chrome/whitepapers/pagevisibil...

Headers wouldn't work, because a prefetch often turns into a page view.

Edit: their methodology is public. They use the aforementioned API, and headers for the two other browsers that prerender (Firefox and Safari, who rarely prerender because pages must explicitly configure it). Pages pre-rendered and discarded would add 1.3% to Chrome page views if they weren't discounted. Here is the StatCounter FAQ: http://gs.statcounter.com/faq#prerendering

> Statcounter claim to adjust for chrome's prefetching

It didn't seem to make any non-marginal effect on the graph. I wonder if they can accurately account for the pre-rendering.

Of course, pre-rendering might just be that good, that it's always hitting the right pages.

> what's the more popular browser?

In the most general of ways, the browser more people use.

Which in this case, via Akamai stats, is clearly IE.

So Chrome is the most used browser and IE is the browser used by the most people. Which is the more profitable status?

> So Chrome is the most used browser and IE is the browser used by the most people. Which is the more profitable status?

It depends.

Are you selling ads by pagehits? Then the former. Are you selling user info by number of users? Then the latter.

(And aside from ads and personal info, browsers don't make money in a direct way.)

> (And aside from ads and personal info, browsers don't make money in a direct way.)

Not entirely true. The Chrome Webstore makes some money, though admittedly not much.


That doesn't tell me how much money Google makes from it, if any.

From your Akamai's website: most of the Web sites sampled for the Akamai IO Beta are focused on a U.S. audience.

The results are comparable if you restrict statcounter's stats to US only

Ha, and just like in Stats counter's daily stats http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-daily-20120531-2012062... You can see that on weekends IE drops off to everyone else's gain. People are still being force to use IE at work, but their choice in many cases is something. Interesting to see.

It says that IE makes up 25% of cellular browsers. I have to seriously doubt that.

1. I don't know anyone who owns any Windows Phone up through Phone 7. 2. I don't know anyone who knows how to use a 3g / 4g hotspot who would be dumb enough to still use IE.

Frankly your anecdote simply proves you don't know anyone dumb enough to still use IE.

it's interesting to see that that people use IE at work, and Chrome at home (see the 2 day distortions every 5 days)!

I see the dip, but IE usage "at home" is still more than 2x that of Chrome (44% vs 20%).

From the FAQ http://www.akamai.com/html/io/io_faq.html: the data comes from a sample of 600 million requests (out of two trillion (?)) to mostly US sites who are Akamai customers.

When you compare the Akamai stats to Statcounter's "North America" stats, the resemblance is a lot closer. It's possible that Akamai's traffic has a heavy North American weighting.

Glad to see that the top three browsers use different rendering engines. Long live diversity.

Edit: in the hope of good css/html5 conformance / no browser specific programming like in the old days

This is the most remarkable and best fact about the current browser shares, yet everyone gets caught up in the cheerleading (and I'm just as guilty at times).

It really is a great state for the browser market to be in.

It might be noteworthy that Google said so as well on Google I/O.

Of course, they are not the most objective source, but they do have the whole Google Analytics dataset.

(GA runs on about 55% of all websites: http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/traffic_analysis/al...)

In both the US and China, IE is far ahead. But look at this Indian usage graph:


What's most interesting to me is that my biggest markets (North America, English-speaking Europe, and Australia) are all still IE strongholds.


I wouldn't say stronghold. IE is still the leader but by a relatively small margin in most English speaking markets.

The strongholds are China and Korea, where IE usage is well over 70%. In fact, considering that China has the most internet usage of anywhere in the world I have my doubts about the veracity of the world-wide graph. It probably drastically undersamples Chinese numbers.


StatCounter sees low usage from China (in page-views). The great firewall certainly plays a role. I wonder if said firewall doesn't also play games with the user-agent header, though.


I don't buy it. I just moved here from China a couple of months ago, and if anything I'd say 70% is an overly conservative estimation of IE usage. Both of my banks, for example, were accessible only through IE with an active X plug-in which made it impossible for me to check my balance on my mac. The same was true of many, many other sites. Much like the US was 10 years ago, only really hard-core geeks were likely to have firefox or other alternative browsers.

As for usage, I also don't buy that. Most people in China are online primarily through their phones, but in first tier cities (which is still a gigantic population), people have bandwidth that most Americans could only dream of. Youku, for example, streamed 5 times the hours of video content as all of Youtube last I checked. And Tudou (which it is merging with) was a competitor on the same scale! In terms of page views, I'd be shocked if Amazon had as many as Taobao. No US news portal approaches QQ. Actually, Tencet (owner of QQ) is considering buying Yahoo!. The only way in which China's internet is small is in the amount of money its users want to spend on content.

I disagree with your claim that bandwidth in 1st tier cities is anywhere as good as in the states. At work, at home, and in the cafe my internet is always slow, even when pinging local sites (Beijing). I'm always amazed when I go back to the states to visit and I can use...Netflix at my sister's place. Americans have bandwidth that we Beijingers can only dream of.

True about IE and banks, but its easy enough to use IE when banking online and switch to whatever else you want.

I don't know what the numbers really are; I suspect IE use is still high but might be lower in Beijing given all the Macbooks being used by the middle class.

It sounds like you just have a terrible connection. I had a 10mb connection for < 30USD/month and regularly streamed HD video, sometimes US video through a VPN. At work was even faster. That was in Beijing up until this May. It looks like I'd have a free upgrade up to 20mb if I were still there!


As for banking, the problem was that their active X component was a .exe download. Even with IE, it wasn't doable on a mac. ICBC did claim to have a mac app in the works, but I didn't see it before leaving.

Terrible connection in one location could just be a fluke, but in more than three locations? We've been thinking about upgrading our link, but many of our problems at home are that entire sites don't work, especially at night when internet use is very popular.

China is still not as wired as the states, South Korea is much better and could be considered to excede the states, even countries like Thailand and Indonesia provide much better bandwidth when I visit (and no GFW to boot!).

Poking around by individual country the only large one I found where Chrome leads is India. Anyone have sauce on why Chrome is so popular there? Are they big enough to skew the whole world?

I think I will attribute it to the following things:

1. Google had a huge advertising campaign to promote Chrome. It was unique and nothing like has been done for any other browser ever.

2. Majority of internet users in India are young. The mom's, dad's and grandmother's browser, I hypothesize, doesn't contribute as much to the stats as others. Many might have not even seen the pre-Chrome (or pre-Firefox) world.

3. Orkut was huge in India, Gmail and Google Search are bigger. Google has been pushing users to move to Chrome for a better experience for a long time now. That would have seen significant clickthrough especially because internet speeds have only recently started to pick up in India. Making the need for a 'better experience' more paramount.

4. Not enough business machines. Indian corporate world is not as highly computerized as North America or Europe. Indian Governmental Offices are way behind. While machines in western offices may bring about a significant increase in IE usage there, they will have lesser weight in India.

On the other hand, the only region where Chrome is not leading MSIE, is North America.

In Europe, Chrome has a small lead. In Asia, a medium lead. In South America, a large lead. In Africa, both are dwarfed by Firefox.

One possible unfounded speculation would be that it is connected to the age of the widespread adoption of the Internet. In North America, most users have likely been on the net for a long time and therefore use older, more established technology. In India, Internet access is likely a new thing to many people (and businesses), and they are therefore less "invested" in older programs.

Actually IE has huge leads in South Korea and China, who are among the top internet users. The Microsoft blog post linked above has the root cause here: StatCounter has outsized representation for India and Turkey, both which see heavy Chrome use, and doesn't adjust its overall numbers to account for this (a fact which they are open about, but it diminishes the relevance of their overall number).

Not sure this is the reason but Google advertised Chrome heavily in India in addition to the Google properties which are themselves very popular in India. They did advertisements in prime spots in TV, newspapers, other popular Indian websites etc. That could've definitely contributed. Also it's nice to see that Firefox is not lagging much behind Chrome in India.

Regarding your question on population, not sure how big is the Indian internet population. I would say 5% of the country(total pop. 1 bn approx) uses Internet regularly. Not sure how much that skews the data.

I don't know in India, but in Brazil, Google has been running TV ads about Chrome in prime time for a while. Maybe they're doing that there too.

> why Chrome is so popular there?

Could it be because it has to run on cheap hardware? Is there any more lightweight browser?

I don't think Chrome is especially lightweight. It tends to be optimized for speed by using as much resources as available.

It might be better than IE in that regard, but it doesn't have any huge advantage over firefox.

Ive found uzbl to be pretty good and lightweight. http://uzbl.org/

Dillo 3, and h3v.

Non-graphical: links, w3m. Other 'light' webkit shells: uzbl, Midori, Arora

Opera, of course.

According to Google Analytics for my web site (postjobfree.com), top 10 browsers in the last 30 days:

1. Internet Explorer - 40.02%

2. Chrome - 21.33%

3. Firefox - 19.99%

4. Safari - 11.80%

5. Android Browser - 3.74%

6. Mozilla Compatible Agent - 1.33%

7. Opera Mini - 0.70%

8. Opera - 0.54%

9. IE with Chrome Frame - 0.21%

10. BlackBerry8530 - 0.03%

So it's not as rosy yet as we'd like.

It's all about your audience. Here are my last 30 day stats for jellibug.com, which appeals to a younger crowd

1. Chrome - 40.49%

2. Safari - 28.66%

3. Firefox - 19.41%

4. Internet Explorer - 7.91%

5. Mozilla Compatible Agent - 1.46%

6. Android Browser - 1.00%

7. RockMelt - 0.40%

8. Opera - 0.33%

9. Opera Mini - 0.13%

10. BlackBerry9630 - 0.07%

Does that include both mobile Safari and desktop Safari in one category? I would be curious about how many people use desktop Safari as opposed to the mobile version.

Yes, both are in one "Safari" category.

Here's split by OS:

1. Windows - 78.77%

2. Macintosh - 8.39%

3. iOS - 6.10%

4. Android - 3.88%

5. (not set) - 1.50%

6. Linux - 0.69%

7. BlackBerry - 0.30%

8. Nokia - 0.12%

9. SymbianOS - 0.09%

10. Windows Phone - 0.08%

Didn't this happen last month?

Different statistics-company, different sources. Market-share like this is difficult to measure.

This. I'm surprised that few people take that into consideration.

Yes, these stats are from May 2012 and they were first published on June 1 (29 days ago).

I think it happened only for a day or something then, which was still news worthy, but it was still pretty volatile then. Now it's looking like it's going to be a permanent thing (well unless people stop using Chrome in the future).

But how is that possible? Because of the "choose your browser" dialog on MS Windows?

I'm switching back to Safari when Mountain Lion is released. The unified search/address bar was the only thing holding me back.

Just curious, what are the issues that you have with Chrome that you want to switch back?

I don't know about others but I really like the two-finger double-tap to zoom (pinching too) and the reader mode (and reading list if you use multiple devices with safari). These things seem standard on mobiles but still haven't made it to all desktop browsers. Spotlight history integration is also useful as well, though it could be improved.

Otherwise, it's fast enough and supports most new features just fine. Developer tools support isn't quite as nice as Chrome but I usually use Safari until I need Chrome or hit a site that needs flash (since I don't have it installed on my system).

I have consistently found Chrome to never quite feel "Mac like."

try chrome for iOS you can share your open tabs with all your devices

This is a nice feature. But if this is the only thing keeping someone using Chrome over Safari, then fear not: iOS6 is introducing this feature for Safari in the coming Autumn.


I usually used reading list to share across devices but it did take far too long for Apple to add the live tabs feature. Definitely a feature I wish I had up until developer betas awhile ago.

Like i want to always be logged on my all encompassing google account.

That's the reason the only browser i have sync enabled is opera.

It's amazing what happens when you leverage your near monopoly in one area to push a product in another.

Yes, your link has been debunked. http://gs.statcounter.com/press/open-letter-ms

Ironically, StatCounter's response commits some statistical fallacies, details here


I don't know which source of browser market share is more reliable - no one does, really - and StatCounter made some valid points as well in their rebuttal. But to see them misunderstand statistics like that is cause for doubt.

Yes, that looks like an objective, neutral source.

yes, but remember, a new version of safari (with new JS engine) is coming out soon, at least to my understanding

Thank god.

Wonder if this will allow Microsoft in Europe to get rid of the EU imposed browser select dialog at first boot.

Doubt it. It is the market share of MS Windows, not MSIE, that makes tying a legally questionable practice.

I seem to recall it expires at a certain date and would have to be renewed.

Today they do have a case to argue that their OS dominance doesn't guarantee browser dominance. It is very different from when this complaint was made as there is healthy competition without the browser select screen. But personally I would like to see it stay.

It doesn't guarantee browser dominance anymore precisely because of the select screen.

Chrome, the 1 gig of ram browser that everyone just loves.

If the memory is going to go unused otherwise, why the hell not?

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact