UK users like polished Chrome

This week has seen the news that in the UK, Google Chrome has overtaken Mozilla FireFox to become the second most popular browser. According to data aggregated by StatCounter (a provider of website tracking software), Chrome now has 22.1% of the UK browser market, pushing it past FireFox’s 22.0% market share. Internet Explorer continues to dominate with 46% of UK users still using some version of IE.

Measuring UK browser percentages is not an exact science. Whilst StatCounter usage is widespread, it is by no means the only web tracking software available. This combined with the difficulty in identifying the geographic location of all site visitors means that despite the impression of precision, this data should be regarded as indicative. What is interesting here is the trend and also the reasons ascribed to the growth of Chrome usage in the UK.

Google clearly see speed as a key element in the rapid growth in Chrome usage. Google engineer Lars Bak has been quoted as saying “Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it’s also about the minimal design and the way it handles security”. But the success isn’t only about technical excellence and improving developer tools. A growing suite of cloud based business applications is driving adoption of Chrome by UK businesses. Unusually for a Google product, in the UK Chrome has also been supported by an extensive outdoor advertising campaign.

Whilst Chrome isn’t universally popular, it’s speed and innovative use of caching, has given it, and Google a place on many people’s desktop. With Google also growing rapidly in the mobile market with it’s phone operating system, Android, and making a play at the hardware market with it’s new Chromebook, it would be difficult to see the rapid growth of Chrome slowing any time soon.