Chrome steals share from every rival but Safari

Only Apple's browser seems safe from Chrome's inroads, at least for now

Two weeks after the launch of Chrome, Google's browser has stolen market share from every competitor except Apple's Safari, an Internet measurement company said Tuesday.

At the end of its second week, Chrome accounted for 0.85 percent of the browsers that visited the 40,000 sites monitored by Net Applications, an increase from the 0.67 percent of the week before.

Chrome's share came at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla's Firefox, Opera Software's Opera and even AOL's Netscape, all of which have watched their browser share drop in the last two weeks. Only Safari escaped Chrome's impact; Apple's browser, in fact, has gained nearly 0.7 percentage points during the last 14 days.

That picture is in marked contrast to last week, said Vince Vizzaccaro, Net Applications' executive vice president of marketing, when his company's data pointed to IE as the sole browser that had lost ground since Chrome's September 2 release. "The market share hit from Chrome has now affected every major browser, except Safari," Vizzaccaro said.

Vizzaccaro has an idea why. "[Chrome] isn't available on Mac OS X yet," he said. Until Google issues a Mac-specific version, the only way Apple users can run Chrome is in a Windows-based virtual machine, or by using Apple's Boot Camp dual-boot utility.

And Chrome's numbers may be soft, Vizzaccaro added, noting that Net Applications' newest data pegged the browser's trend line as slightly downward. "I wouldn't be too surprised to see Opera overtake it again in the short term," he said, referring to the Norwegian browser that was once in fourth place, but has now slipped to fifth behind Chrome.

Last week, Computerworld's site metrics showed that Chrome had peaked just two days after its launch, and since then had dropped before stabilizing at between 5 percent and 6 percent.

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Gregg Keizer

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