back to article Firefox joins Microsoft in uncool kids class

After more than a decade of slugging it out with Microsoft for supremacy, Mozilla's Firefox now claims 24 per cent of the global browser market, according to Net Applications. Like clockwork, Firefox gouged five per cent of Microsoft's Internet Explorer market share each year - until now. Since October 2009, Firefox has …


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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    So what browser do people really use?

    90% Firefox

    9% Chrome

    1% IE6

    Yeah, I know that is silly but there are a few apps on our Corporate XP laptop build that insist in spawning IE6.

    Oh, the Corporate expenses system only works with IE6.

    With all the 'noise' this wek about XP support, our XP support people are not gonig to uptate our installls for another 2 years... WTF?

    Two more years of McAfee taking 200Mb of RAM. that you can't kill due to group security policies.

    IE + Windows + AD = Fail

    Tux Naturally...

    1. Wibble
      Thumb Up

      Lies, damn lies and browser statistics

      There's no doubt that Firefox was the developer's favourite and that anyone using IE by choice can hardly be considered sane enough to be called a web developer. But there's no getting away from the fact that Chrome's an excellent development tool. Now with add-ons, Chrome's only missing the excellent Firebug and developer tool maturity of Firefox.

      IE's still around and even IE6 won't go away all the time that stupid IT departments keep seeing the browser as, well, just a browser and not the delivery mechanism for all applications. Who needs thick clients when you only really need a browser? And when browsers do all the HTML5 coolness - local storage, persistent state, fast JavaScript compilers, etc., they'll only be more questions about the need for thick clients and thick-headed IT managers who buy this crap.

      Microsoft only have Ballmer to blame for this. It was he who disbanded the IE development team leaving IE to stagnate -- screwing millions of web developers in the process.

      It's such fun to watch Microsoft finally take a thoroughly deserved beating.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Have I missed some functionality? The only thing Chrome's missing is YSlow. As I use the funky event stuff far more than I check YSlow, Chrome wins.

      2. JimC

        >Who needs thick clients whn you only need a browser

        Because out in the real world of supporting users who care little about computers and even less about platforms many web implementations replace thick clients that you can manage, can configure and can understand with hideous amounts of downloaded plugins and java applets you can't manage, can't configure, and can't understand. Well written web applications that deliver legal non-proprietary html and do everything on the server aren't a problem of course, but as the sales droids ratchet onto "web delivered must be best" it feels as if I'm seeing less and less of them... Junk apps are junk apps, whether by browser, thick client or what, but at least if they are on a thick client you have a better chance of keeping them under control and integrating them with the other things the user needs...

        1. Rick Giles

          I agree

          "Junk apps are junk apps, whether by browser, thick client..."

          Where I work, we have and in house app built on Progress that, every time they update it, we end up having to uninstall it and then reload it on a bunch of PC's. Doing that requires us to either remote the PC or physically touch it to perform the exorcism. And there is a mandatory reboot between the uninstall and re-install.

          On the flip side of that, they have a web based app that steals the focus of the other windows so if you get a pop up from one of the other apps you can't click on it until you close the web app. What this then does in the web app is you can't use the tab key to navigate the many fields that need some form of input. And we can't do aything about it as it is handled by a third party and they won't let us talk to them about it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, your FAIL is closer to home....

      No, that's YOUR XP support people.

      Have them sacked, or shot, or sent back to school or something.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-MS only goes so far

    I'm not saying that there aren't good reasons for using Firefox, but for many people it was "Not IE" that they wanted.

    Chrome is just a browser and it works pretty good; Thats why I use it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      FF team has reverted to copying the stupidities from IE, that's bad.

      "I'm not saying that there aren't good reasons for using Firefox, but for many people it was "Not IE" that they wanted."

      Well put.

      Nowadays FF seems not to know that they are not IE version "next", but an alternative and developers are trying to make it as IE-like as IE itself, essentially driving every alternative seeker to other browsers, ie. Chrome.

      That's plain stupidity and arrogance: _People are not using FF because it's like IE, but because it's not like IE_.

      It should be totally different, because frankly there aren't any good ideas in IE and copying it is plain stupidity. You couldn't invent anything worse even if you tried, so _do not copy IE_.

      How hard is that to comprehend, tell me, FF developer team?

      (Latest stupidity: Mandatory grouping of history by date, no way to see a flat list, anywhere. A stupidity staight from IE. Why?)

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Monty Burns

    Finger friendly

    All these comments are on my Hp TX2:

    Only two browsers work in a finger friendly style for me, IE and Firefox. Sadly IE seems to have some bug where you try to enter text on it and occasionaly it gets serious lag and looses key presses. So, Firefox it is. Tbh, apart from this bug, I couldn't care less which of the two I use.

    Tried Chrome and it aint finger friendly for me. Tried Opera as it works fantasticly on my phone (HD2) but again, not touch friendly....

    1. Wibble

      Keypresses - IE Skype addin?

      Loosing keypresses - check that the Skype addin on IE isn't causing grief. This was the problem on a client's machine recently - and I took the blame prior to this.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    not going to happen

    regarding preidictions that the web will make oses completely irrelevant -- not going to happen. This has been predicted since netscape corp. claimed it around 1994... For a lot of stuff (looking up info, im type stuff, anything involving forms, etc.) it's true. For a lot of apps, they "could" be done in javascript, java, or flash now, but they end up slower, clunkier, and less featured than a native app, and i just don't see that changing, even with a native code plugin.

    Not to say that Microsoft should not be worried... They should. But the "browser makes the os irrelevant" thing just doesn't do it for me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We moved our email to a 3rd party using Zimbra. They supply us with a plugin for Outlook. A few months later, no one's using Outlook. The Zimbra web client is faster (especially for the huge number of emails our marketing types deal with) and everyone's got used to accessing it from anywhere.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Does it matter?

    The major issue with IE was it didn't do that crazy wacky standards thing, thus needing pages specifically written with all its bugs in mind, and locking out other browsers.

    As long as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc render a correctly written page according to the standards, I don't care what browser the "cool kids" use.

    1. johnny19
      Thumb Up

      Yes it does

      Being able to display web pages properly is something that is expected these days. IE's crapness was in the most part hidden from the general public because web devs knew how to get round the problems. (This is why most web dev's now really don't like Microsoft, their inability to do anything about it cost a lot of people a lot of money in wasted time.)

      This generations browsers will all be standards compliant, so it's become a non issue. The thing that will set them apart is speed. In this, Chrome wins hands down. It loads in milliseconds, installs without fuss, lets you install extensions without reloading, lightning quick rendering. Its also by far the most efficient in terms of screen real estate.

      I use all 3 browsers on a daily basis for development, Chrome I use for browsing.

  7. copsewood
    Big Brother

    it's uncool to give away all your privacy states:

    "Chrome sends details about its usage to Google through both optional and non-optional user tracking mechanisms."

    See also

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      FF is not much better keeping your privacy

      " states:

      "Chrome sends details about its usage to Google through both optional and non-optional user tracking mechanisms.""

      That's why Chrome is not an option. But also the Firefox has married with Google and does the same, not telling to user, of course. Even worse in a sense than Chrome, active betrayal.

      IE is on par with Chrome, everything you do, is reported to Redmont.

    2. The BigYin


      This is why I do not use Chrome and am seriously considering getting rid of my googlemail account. Google knows too much and cannot be trusted.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Alpha geeks use Chrome?

    Wouldn't "alpha geeks" be well aware that anything they use Chrome for gets sent back to Google and used for profiling and advertising?

    I think it's more likely the B team is switching to Chrome because they believe Google's lies, like claims that Chrome is the fastest (Opera is faster) or that Firefox is a memory hog (Chrome uses much more, FF actually uses the least).

    1. slooth


      I agree that most of the B team is switching only because it is cool. Most of them don't read anything worthwhile and only go on hearsay (and follow to be 'cool'). A better approach would be to view proper statistics about the various browsers such as:,review-31945.html

      1. Andrew Norton

        Browser Benchmarks

        Or, if I could dip by oar in, I did some benchmarking 2 weeks ago, Various Operas (9.6, 10.5, 10.6, two flavours of IE (7 and 8) safari, and firefox, and of course, chrome.SCripting, CSS, other fun things.

    2. nekomata

      Chrome is bad

      agree, this or Google hypnotized our developers.

      FF is slow, a pain to startup, looks like made in JAVA, also has more holes than IE, I use Opera since 2007 and the only FF extension I miss is downloadthemall (eg. can download all .jpgs in one page).

      you can't even block ads with Google chrome, so it's perfect for THEIR business, I'm not anti-google, just can't stand their privacy politics.

      People missed Opera, and looking for an alternative to aged FF jumped all into fabricated Chrome-fad.

      1. Tippis

        Re: Chrome is bad

        "you can't even block ads with Google chrome, so it's perfect for THEIR business, I'm not anti-google, just can't stand their privacy politics."

        Neither does Firefox, unless you get Adblock or some similar extension. Now, as it happens, Chrome has this:

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Alpha geeks

        a) Know exactly what is going in and out of the machines and block it if they don't like it.

        b) Block ads with a hosts table entry.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Alpha geeks understand that when you make software you give out for free you need to know how many people have installed it. They removed the code that identified individual installations because everyone went nuts about it. It's not sat there tracking your every click, that's called spyware.

      It still amazes me in a world where people post intimate details of their lives to places like Facebook for the world to see, that a company knowing someone completely anonymous has just installed a piece of its software would matter.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Jesse Casman

    I'm wondering why

    Great piece. I think the competition around browsers -- no one's calling it browser wars anymore? -- is really fascinating. I'm wondering, though, about the why. Chrome is being used by the cool kids, you say. Why not Opera (simple), Flock (social media) or, heck, even Japan's Lunascape (triple engine browser)? What's the thing on top of Google's big marketing budget that has gotten people interested and built momentum for Chrome?

    Jesse Casman

    San Francisco, CA

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re : Why...?

      Good question. Perhaps like everything Google does it is popular because it's different, free, more up-to-date and with-it. Apart from the free-ness (which applies to all browsers anyway), these are all just indicators of fashion.

      I don't care if geeks love it (or what they love in general) : average users and businesses need a firm boring basis for what they do, not shiny stuff. Especially shiny stuff that you can't trust to keep your business your own.

      I expect chrome will shoot rapidly to a high take-up and then stop and fade away as it hits the barriers that the real (non-geek) world imposes.

  11. Andrew the Invertebrate

    Lies, damn lies and statistics

    "Introduced in 2008, Google Chrome has been on a tear, growing its market share by 254 per cent to claim 7.24 per cent market share early 2009. "

    Or to put it another way grew from 2.85% to 7.24% or a gain of 4.39%, which doesn't sound anywhere near as impressive as a 254% growth. It's easy toget large growth in those terms you used when you've got a small user base. For Firefox or IE to get the same level of growth as you used, they have to be at or above 100% market share, which would require the browser equvilent of stuffing ballot boxes.

  12. Tatsky
    Thumb Up

    Horses for courses I say

    I am a web developer, so I need multiple browsers to test in. But I find when developing I use certain browsers for certain things. Firefox is my main workhorse, because with DOM Inspector, Live HTTP Headers, FireBug etc I can nail down any rendering issues, javascript issues etc very easily. I use Chrome with no plugins or extensions for quick browsing. I use Umbraco a lot, and I find it runs so much quicker in Chrome.

    I use IE6 purley for testing, and crying at, layout issues. Likewise for IE7. IE8 I have warmed to slightly as I think there are some nice touches in there.

    I am just 1 person, but as I see it all these browsers have their place in my world. Firefox is my development friend, but with all those plugins is a memory hog. Chrome is a quick browser (and when I first downloaded chrome there were no add-ins, and firefox does everything I want so I keep chrome light). IE is just for testing to make sure my applications work for the majority our there.

    So I like Firefox, and I like chrome. So maybe that makes me a cool kid, with touch of the old school?

  13. Not That Andrew

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    It's from Google, it doesn't have to be good. Unfortunately Google have an Apple-like reality distortion field where everyone assumes that just because Google made it it's fantastic and they have to have it.

    IMHO it's no better or worse than any of the other browsers. It has a couple of nifty features but I hate the interface, which is even more retarded that the ribbon interface of IE 7 and later and, as noted above, is not finger friendly.

    1. Andrew Norton


      "Unfortunately Google have an Apple-like reality distortion field where everyone assumes that just because Google made it it's fantastic and they have to have it"

      Sounds a lot like the reasoning everyone gave for Firefox for years, just replace 'google' with 'open source'

      1. elderlybloke


        Greetings Andrew Norton,

        I just began using Firefox because of security concerns years ago.

        How many? It is so many I can't remember.

        It has satisfied my needs and I have no urge to be "cool" .

        1. Andrew Norton
          Thumb Down

          security concerns?

          Would this be the same firefox that has had more exploits over 08, than IE, opera AND safari combined? (115 to 31+30+32)

          The one that patches all the exploits so fast there's still some exploits for firefox 2 unpatched from before 3 came out.

          That 'you can look at the source code' also doesn't mean much, unless you actually DO. Else you're just making the same assumption that it's ok. It's the PERCEPTION of security, than real security.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Open source is, you know, open.

        "Sounds a lot like the reasoning everyone gave for Firefox for years, just replace 'google' with 'open source'"

        Let's return to this when you can have the source code of Chrome and licence to modify and redistribute as you like, shall we?

        I won't hold my breath meanwhile.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And next year

    Once they realize that Opera does everything that Chrome does but 100x better, they will all move to that...

  15. Johntron
    Thumb Up

    As with everything

    The best browser will be the simplest one that has has the most adaptability.

    No one will be able to compete with google in the development dept, and thus chrome will take the crown.

    Firefox doesn't have the marketing outlets that chrome does, and will fall by the wayside, only kept bouyant by the numerous plugins and other customizations people were just getting used to.

    Ultimately, people won't care if google is watching their surfing habits, other than the paranoid alpha geeks (not that they're wrong) least until google gets caught being evil with the data (inevitable)

    Microsoft already got porked for being insidious about leveraging it's OS to force use of IE, so unless they make a sincere attempt to both out-market Google, and copy Chrome's features as quickly as they are implemented (since MS can't innovate without copying), IE will fade out as well.

    Nevermind all the effects of a web-based world that doesn't need Windows, or the fact that if Google wanted to, they could turn android into a desktop OS and pat MS on the ass.

    Google has the power already, it's just a matter of time.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't care what the "cool kids" use

    I'll never use Chrome.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Does everything..

      ..and surprisingly quickly, but has such a clunky interface that it slows you down- so a slower but more confortable browser is actually faster in use, sadly.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge


      It's all about brand names:

      Chrome sounds good, makes you think of chromed metal, motorbikes etc.

      FireFox makes you think of Clint Eastwood in a high tech fighter jet.

      Opera just makes you think of middle aged rich people.

      I somehow doubt the cool kids would want Opera, it is a pretty awful name for a browser.

      1. elderlybloke

        Brands- Like Firefox

        That makes Clint a Ruski,- flying an (imaginary) Russian Fighter

        Surely not, tell me it's not true.

        1. MJI Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Clint (Mitchell Gant) was US

          Actually if you read the book / seen the film - he was sent to Russia to steal it.

          Need a black aircraft icon!

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @ Giles Jones

        I'm laughing here, because the names do affect my attitude to the three browsers you mention:

        Chrome - really cheap stuff covered with "ooh, shiny" that will fail to do what it is supposed to do soon unless I keep polishing it.

        Firefox - yep, the fighter thing!

        Opera - bland, boring stuff that will take hours to get to the end of, at least partly because a major part of it will go off and do something incomprehensibly monotonous somewhere in the middle.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      IE is a must, decision from MS

      "... IE will fade out as well."

      It won't fade as long there are Windows-machines running as you can't get anything from MS unless you are running IE. Especially not updates nor patches.

      You have to have IE, even if for that one purpose only.

  17. Fuzz

    two things are good about chrome

    One is the speed, but I can get that also from Opera. The other is the updating system, I don't get asked if I want to update but if I go to help>about I always seem to be on the latest version.

    These two things don't stop me from using firefox though, I'm really liking the sync plugin at the moment so my browser history is on my laptop, desktop and work machine.

  18. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    Spyware detected = Google Chrome

    Google Chrome should be banned as Spyware.

  19. iamapizza


    Got news for you - if they're using Chrome, they're very likely not developers, just tech enthusiasts.

  20. Cyfaill

    And the winner is...

    The browser that interleaves the computer to the web the best.

    Most of my browsers are a flavors of Firefox-ish or Firefox specific variants.

    I use sidux (based on Debian "unstable" in other words - Most Advanced)

    I have used Chrome and watch how it develops, that’s fine. so far its not as good for me as Firefox variant Iceweasel 3.5.10 in 64bit.

    Currently my computer is hybrid to the internet as a "stationary desktop" but the important thing to keep in mind that it is permanently dependent of the existence of the internet to function properly and grow.

    sidux is a rolling release, every day it gets updated to be as current as the developers make it.

    The computer was built literally with a connection to the internet, no boxed software. The Linux OS and its 1,308 applications and programs that make it powerful came from and were dynamically compiled with a connection to the internet, using multiple server with simultaneous connections located in different countries. I can choose between 29,000 applications and programs to make the machine be what I want. All of them from the internet from repositories.

    GoogleEarth is a good example of a desktop-internet app.

    The whole thing is a 64bit extension of its inter-connectivity to the internet.

    As time goes by this trend will increase, not digress backwards in time.

    Ubuntu is very similar in its design.

    The browser as the extension of the computer is just a GUI interface and needs to be flexible yet secure... in many ways in the future I think it will be the desktop and ones "computer" thick or thin will simply be the machine interface.

    From servers and supercomputers to the handpodlys and telepods and desktops of the future Linux will be there one way or another.

    It is already there in many ways now. Android is Linux.

    Its one world not at war with itself that will make the inter-connectivity of humanity work.

    Google will likely be there. closed box systems might not.

    IE will not. I think that is a good thing. With any luck MS will evolve into something harmless like a toaster company or better yet just become toast.

    Why would I say that... because for company’s such as Microsoft innovation is defined as what ever locks you into their exclusivity of control better.

    That is not a better future. Freedom is choice and Open Source is diversity and that freedom is expressed by invention with innovation by developers competing with choices for the customer.

    The browser that wins will be adaptive cross platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Again please?

      In English?

  21. Il Midga di Macaroni
    Paris Hilton

    Gratitude is short lived

    Winston Churchill found out just after the war that even an overwhelming tide of gratitude for the past won't ensure security for the future. Firefox saved us from Death By Microsoft, but that doesn't change the fact that it takes at least 3500 milliseconds to open. Chrome starts in a few blinks of the eye. The "cool kids" (in the IT world I mean, the alpha geeks) have brains that fire VERY quickly, and to them, 3500ms is long enough to get bored. When geeks get bored, Bad Things happen.

    Paris because Chrome renders her well.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    Chrome, eh? Non-standard install, and no *true* ad blocker. Not quite usable yet, unfortunately.

  23. Kieran

    Apple's poor showing

    Gotta love an article about the rise of Webkit that manages to rubbish Apple. Aye, I'm sure they're kicking themselves for betting the farm on the right horse.

  24. Tom 15


    I use Chrome but I won't be able to fully move from Firefox until Firebug works well on it!

  25. Anonymous Coward

    A thought for Matt Asay

    Don't confuse alpha geeks with fanbois. Fanbois follow trends; Alpha geeks sniff packets.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    I tried Chrome...

    ...and also the supposedly de-Googled SWiron version. I didn't like the way that whenever I logged in to sites both also made a call to Google via port 443.

    The Google fanbois can play with Chrome all they want. I care about my privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      what a lot of Firefox fan bois....

  27. yossarianuk

    re : I tried Chrome...

    You can avoid the 'home calls' to google by using the opensource version - Chromium

    This is the exact same code base but with a few plugin's missing and it doesn't call home to google,

    On ubuntu its just

    apt-get install chromium-browser

    (god knows how you get it on windows - I couldn't care less..)

    I have tried and liked chome/chromium and it is a good browser.

    But for doing work I much prefer firefox (copy and pasting is a bit different in Chrome)

  28. Jeff 11

    It's fast and useful - and don't forget Chromium

    Geeks use Chrome/ium because it's fast. Web developers have known Webkit browsing has been the fastest performing for years, and the most efficient tools yield the highest daily productivity. Firefox is still a leaking slow memory hog - when 3.0 was released it was the fastest useful developer tool out there. Now it's lagging behind everything in performance terms, and I only use it when I need to verify compatibility or for deep debugging.

    I commend Firefox for its amazing breadth of features and plugins, but it needs a marked improvement in JS and rendering speed.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ah, good old Firefox - stuff it!

    FF is a perfect example of all that's wrong with the Open Source world - a major project that - like OpenOffice - is based on horrible, ancient code derived from a years-old failed Real World project, maintained in a half-assed manner by people who have nobody to answer to and therefore could care less about their users. I mean, for God's sake, Bugzilla lists FF bugs dating back to 2001! 2001! And how come FF can't autosort bookmarks without installing yet another dodgy extension? Every other browser ever can do THAT!

  30. Martin 71 Silver badge

    Serious questions for Chrome users... I would like to use it but can't

    I have XP pro, set with themes disabled. Therefore every program has a proper window, with menu bars, etc.

    Whenever I've installed chrome, it looks ... well fisher-price-ish. Some weird vista-esque close button, no menu bar, and so forth. Is there some easy way to make it look like a windows application? Until there is I can't use it!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    if the clowns at Mozilla would start marking FF faster and more stable and fix some of the huge gaping memory leaks I don't think they'd have any problems growing their market share.

    As it stands Firefox is just a way for people to run AdBlock Plus, which is what we really want.

    Seeing as Chrome has no suitable replacement for Adblock (it has a program to hide adverts but they are still downloaded first - utterly and completely useless) it will never be the browser of choice for any hardened Firefox user.

    And IE is just a laughably shit joke. The interface has that classic Microsoft feel to it: "we tell YOU how the interface is laid out and you'll bloody like it" It's just icky. It somehow feels clunky and cumbersome in spite of the fact that they hid all the icons and menus. It also tries too hard to integrate with other Microsoft crapware. I don't know what it's called but that blue square that always comes up when I highlight stuff or basically do anything is annoying as fuck. Get rid of it. And that's not to mention IE's integration into the core OS or the fact that it laughably touts an IE6 compatibility mode as a feature. If your website still needs IE6 then guess what, I'm not a regular visitor.

    1. Stuart Elliott

      Use for Firefox

      "As it stands Firefox is just a way for people to run AdBlock Plus, which is what we really want."

      Yep, that's pretty much the deal breaker for me, I don't just want to not SHOW ads, I don't want to waste a milliseconds worth of bandwidth downloading them in the first place.

      1. Mark 65


        I agree with most of this sentiment and I'm also irritated by the fact that Firefox seems to be getting real sluggish and paunchy - middle-aged software. Can't wait until it gets the extension updates in OSX (v4?) that Windows has either as the installation seems to get totally screwed up if you have to kill the thing due to an extension pissing around. It also hangs quite a bit. I'd try Chrome if it weren't for the ET behaviour and the fact that Chromium requires a user build - thanks, but no thanks.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As soon as something gets 'popular' and (shudder) mainstream, it's lost it's coolness, shirley?

  33. JB

    I didn't want to admit it

    I'd been using Firefox since about 2004 and was happy with it. But for some reason Firefox, especially since version 3.6x, seems to have lost its charm for me. The Windows version is fair enough, but the Mac version is horrible - slow, clunky, memory hog. I tried Safari and Opera on the Mac, but Chrome just worked and was nice and nippy, even if it was just as much of a resource hog as FF.

    It seems that FF have become a bit complacent and Chrome are picking up punters fast.

    If only Chrome had the FF plugins, especially Adblock+ and BabelFish!

  34. Anonymous Coward


    Sorry, but I don't get it?

    Everytime I've tried Chrome it's been rubbish - looks aweful, performs worse, crashes constantly - who can put up with that.

    I've use Firefox (mainly) and IE (when forced), but Chrome and Opera have never lasted any more than a day on any of my PC's due to them being complete rubbish.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    At the risk of sounding serious...

    Chrome could be the "Jesus Browser" of performance, technology, developer base and so on, it has one tiny flaw: Google now has a direct hook into your system. Net privacy and anonymonity borders on comical right now, but Chrome removes any any remaining.

  36. James Woods

    whoopie another monopoly just what we need

    I meet the firefox requirements on my computer with 500Mhz 512 MB of ram. However Firefox blows through about 1/2 of my memory in no time and things load like complete crap.

    You can blame it on the websites I visit however after I visit them if I simply go back to loading a blank page the memory usage continues.

    Just because it's taking over for a web browser demonized by industry for being tied into the OS doesn't mean it's better.

    All this world needs is code standard conformance. If everyone conformed to the set of code standards we have there wouldn't be problems when you visit a website and it tells you to visit another website.

    Microsoft never should of been permitted to tie windows update directly into it's own proprietary web browser. They should of been forced to make a separate upgrade program to do the updates.

    It's only going to get worse as time goes on since websites are going to code their websites around features of specific browsers.

    To give you a prime example of this I tried a mozilla based browser this last week. Since it was mozilla based it would have the groundwork of Firefox however sites I was visiting were still telling me to use firefox.

    This all has to stop. If website code standards are going to be ignored lets start ignoring other standards we have that permit these clowns from even having their sites.

    Don't buy from sites that force you to use one browser over the other.

  37. Mark Jonson
    Thumb Down


    People are brainwashed into thinking Chrome is better because it might have a faster rendering engine or JS performance, but there's a price to pay for that performance in privacy. I think Chrome in itself is a great browser, but I can never use it as long as Google is using it as a tracking tool. I've considered moving to Chromium, but I'll have to do more reading to make sure Google's spyware isn't present in the Chromium codebase as well. Until then I'll stick to Firefox, or even IE or Opera if I have to. Anything but that spyware web browser.

  38. xj25vm

    How about Google's marketing clout

    Has anybody factored in as a cause for Chrome's rise Google's marketing clout and agreements with other suppliers of software? It seems that nowadays you can't install any piece of software (well, I'm exaggerating) on Windows without being offered (or pushed into) Google Chrome. All sorts of free software, including if I remember correctly Google Earth, Picassa, Real Player and others install Google Chrome with them. The owners of at least three quarters of computers I found Google Chrome on had no idea how it got there. In my opinion, really bordering on spyware installation tactics.

    1. nekomata

      bundle spyware are very common nowadays

      This is why others browser like Opera are always behind in the race for user-base, heck even AVAST bundled Chrome. And you don't need necessary to bundle Chrome, a mere Google toolbar will inevitably led you to Google browser, well I personally see nothing wrong with this, Google is being smart, but people should think more before clicking "ACCEPT" and "INSTALL".

  39. Willy Messerschmitt

    Go Chrome, Go !

    First, those who complain about Google collecting urls on them should monitor Firefox traffic at a firewall/proxy in between FF and the internet.

    They will see that FF also contacts Google for each and every URL you type "in order to make sure it is not a malware URL". That information is exactly the same as Chrome delivers to Google.

    All of that can be removed both from FF and Chrome, as they are both open source.

    Technologically, Chrome is a huge improvement in terms of speed and security. Google engineers are almost always top-notch and it shows in their products and services. The Chrome security architecture is conceptually much better than FF and on par with IE8.

    Javascript performance of FF is hilarious; Chrome is at least three times faster. Which matters to all the people doing big JS applications to perform serious tasks.


    ..will bring you secure and native-speed NPAPI applets with the Native Client technology.

    ..will bring you secure and native-speed applets of a third-party technology that is currently under development

  40. Willy Messerschmitt

    Chrome PDF viewer

    Google also kicks Adobe's butt by integrating a PDF viewer into Chrome that allows for a html-like viewing experience.

    No more stupid error messages and all the Adobe-Security-Fails. Remove Arobat Reader and use the builtin PDF viewer of Chrome. Currently only available in Chrome developer versions.

  41. Geoff Mackenzie


    I like the idea of a diverse web and have no problem with testing in four or five major browsers that all behave broadly similarly to each other anyway from a developer's perspective.

    25% is a healthy browser 'market' share. Very healthy. You can't grow forever, and it would be nice if the other 75% was divvied up between other well-behaved browsers like Opera, Chromium, Safari etc. rather than being swallowed up by a new monopoly, no matter how friendly.

    I'll keep using FF I think, but good on Chromium anyway, and the best of luck to it.

  42. MJI Silver badge

    I thought Google Chrome was popular...

    Due to the browser choice screen and people thinking Google is the internet.

  43. crypt


    The last time I tried out chrome I found myself missing all the extensions that make Firefox my default browser. On my minimalist desktop Firefox does certainly show its weight in terms of memory usage , But I haven't found chrome drastically better.

    I will probable give it a look in every now and again , but so far it seems like

    a me-too entry into the browser pool.

  44. markolopa

    why this vocabulary?

    "firefox = microsoft", "firefox = uncool"

    Why this vocabulary? Firefox, like ubuntu, is free/open source software (FOSS).

    Seeing FOSS people treat colleagues in this manner seems strange to me. Normally FOSS developers treat colleagues with respect and thankfulness.


  45. Bram


    My only real problem with this Chrome and web services cloud based approached is what happens when you have limited or no connection to the internet for a prelonged period? (like on a holiday or business trip)

    IE is poor in many ways but where IE fails FF picks up the pieces and vice verser, I use a combination of the two for my day to day browsing and when they don't work its on to Opera and Chrome.

    No one browser has got it right yet but FF is the most complete I reckon.

  46. mhenriday

    Agree in the main with your analysis, Matt,

    Chrome is indeed cooler than Firefox, even if it does not yet offer the unparalleled flexibility of the latter, and yes, coolness certainly matters (even if, as Mr Jobs seems to be learning to his cost, it should not be allowed to trump technical competence). Two questions, however, pop up in the mind of this long-time Ubuntu user : 1) Should the publication of your article be interpreted to mean that Canonical is considering replacing Firefox with Chrome on coming versions of Ubuntu, and 2) why, when reporting statistics on trends in world-wide browser usage, do you choose to employ NetApplications' figures, which are taken from a comparatively limited user base and which consistently seem to assign too much weight to North America (USA) and exaggerate Microsoft's market share. StatCounter, for example, which has a far larger user base, reports current FF market share worldwide at about 31 %, while IE enjoys about 50 % and Chrome about 10 % ( ). I do hope that Canonical, in addition to checking its own usage figures, will avail itself of a better statistical base than that provided by NetApplications in weighing future browser alternatives....


  47. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Dead Vulture

    Profoundly unimportant

    "If the future is the web, it profoundly matters who owns the gateway to the web."

    No it doesn't. There is no story here.

    Talk of "the gateway" and "ownership" is just misguided. As long as people adhere to published standards, the web can't be owned because gateways are cheap. IE made a heroic effort to subvert those standards but it failed and I see no evidence that Chrome is even trying to do the same thing. Even mainstream media and politicians are starting to talk about the importance of open standards for online content (and documents). Five years from now, you'll be browsing an open web with the gateway of your choice and that gateway won't be any of the current crop of browsers, except perhaps for the brand name.

  48. Tony Rogers
    Paris Hilton

    32/64 bit Firefox ?

    In the previous posts, there is a mention of a FF version called "Iceweasel". in 64 bit ?

    As far as I was aware FF was still in 32 bit only.

    Any report from FF says 64 bit coming sometime in the future.

    Anyone know how things are developing on this front ?

    Version 4 FF makes no mention of this availability.


    Paris because she has a Question Mark

    1. yossarianuk

      Im running 64bit Firefox

      Perhaps in backwards Windows Land there may be no 64bit version.

      But every 64bit Linux distro I have seen has firefox (normally pre-installed)

  49. Matt Short

    i had to stop reading the article when...

    the author said that w3schools was where web developers went for information.


  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome on multi-monitors

    Apparently, due to the custom titlebar UI, Chrome does not integrate with Windows taskbar-extension apps (like Multimon or Ultramon). And so, it's Opera or Firefox by force, on dual or multi-monitor setups at least.

    Anyone else encountered this?

  51. Nat Pryce

    Not just alpha geeks

    I've installed Firefox and Chrome on my mac at home (as well as having the default Safari) and my wife uses Chrome by choice every time.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried Chrome once

    The scrolling on my laptop touchpad didn't work. By the time they had a fix out I had gone back to Firefox and I haven't seen any point in wasting any more time.

    I also virtually never shut down Firefox, or Windows for that matter so I am happy with the opening speed.

    Shallow I know, but that is how things go - most of us are happy to go with the inertia - unless you can give me something I both know I want and know I haven't got with my current option whilst simultaneously convincing me that I won't lose anything then I am unlikely to change.

    Even with the tabloid-esque huge percentages the reality is that Chrome still has pitifully small market penetration, especially considering the might of Google behind it, and IE is still the Daddy.

  53. gimbal
    Thumb Up

    Google - target of the Microsoft FUD Division

    Well, that's impressive. Little old Google has so caught the attention of Microsoft suits, they clearly feel threatened, to the point of feeling a need to spread FUD about Google - and the statics in this matter of net-user browser preferences would bear out that there *is* reason for Microsoft, at least, to notice the competition.

    If only they could learn how to be good sports about it. My honest impression is that they're spoiled, but I suppose that would be almost beside the point.

    Hurray for Google, I mean seriously.

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