Which Web Browser Will You Be Using In 2010?

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 2, 2010
Updated • Jul 14, 2016

The web browser market has become a lot more interesting and challenging in the last year.

Windows users now have the choice between four (five if you count the mediocre Safari as well) primary web browsers that they can use: Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer.

Firefox and Internet Explorer have been dominating the web browser market in previous year, but the the market is changing thanks to recent developments.

If you look at Ghacks for instance you notice that 47% of all visitors that visited our site in the last year have been using Firefox followed by 35% Internet Explorer users, 7.34% Google Chrome users, 4.31% Safari and 3.52% Opera users. It is likely that the stats look similar on other technology sites whereas general websites still see Microsoft's Internet Explorer at the top.

The picture changes if you look at the stats for December 2009. Firefox lost almost 8% and ranks with 39% behind Internet Explorer which gained 6% and is now at 41%. Google Chrome managed to get another 2% and is close to breaking into the two digits with 9.67%. Safari and Opera both dropped about 0.5% each.

There are two main reasons for the change: New visitors have discovered  the website of which many prefer Internet Explorer over other web browsers. The second reason is the release of Internet Explorer 8 in March of 2009 which boosted the stats for Internet Explorer.

Google Chrome manages to get marketing share because it it actively promoted by Google on sites like Amazon but also on Google's own site as well.

Web Browser Predictions:

  • Google Chrome will reach 15-20% of market share on tech sites by year's end.
  • Opera and Safari will not be able to gain significant market share.
  • Internet Explorer will lose market share (Internet Explorer 8 will gain but 6 and 7 will lose)
  • Firefox will lose market share

I will - on a personal note - likely switch from Firefox to either Google Chrome or Opera. Firefox is a great web browser and the main reason for running it as the main web browser are its extensions.

But it feels slow and memory hungry. The likely choice as of now is Google Chrome as it supports the Last Pass extension. If someone would port NoScript I would switch immediately.

Could be that I switch back to Firefox once the devs release Firefox 3.6 or 3.7, although 3.6 cannot compete with the speed of Google Chrome or Opera 10.5 alpha.

Opera would be the prime choice if the developer's would consider better extension support so that popular extensions could be ported to the web browser.

What about you? Will you switch web browsers in 2010? What has to happen to make you switch?

Article Name
Which Web Browser Will You Be Using In 2010?
The web browser vertical is changing rapidly in 2010 with Chrome picking up pace and Microsoft releasing Internet Explorer 8.
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  1. Rafe said on November 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I have tried a few browsers at http://www.multibrowsers.com (there are about 50 browsers there) and liked Maxthon and K-meleon!

  2. Nibelung said on June 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Opera, of course.

  3. zidane said on May 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

    FIREFOX 4ever :-)

  4. John said on February 2, 2010 at 4:37 am

    Salutations, gentlefolk !

    Spent the weekend trying out Chrome. IMHO it’s a bit faster than Firefox on basic web page loading, but the ‘save page as’ and ‘save link as’ functions are slower and less reliable.

    While I much prefer the user interface of Opera to any competitor, its ‘save page as’ and ‘save link as’ functions are even less reliable than Chrome. Will definitely tryout new Opers version, though.

  5. mvsrinivas said on January 22, 2010 at 12:36 am

    hhmm,nobody mentioned about COMETBIRD.so sad

    til now in history da fastest web browser is COMETBIRD

    cometbird 99.999% similar to firefox but only difference is that its faster than firefox.frens give it a try.otherwise u people wil miss a grt browser.

    my options 1.cometbird 2.firefox 3.opera

  6. scouser73 said on January 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    It’s a bit disheartening to see you say that Firefox will lose market share this year, fair enough that Google Chrome and Opera are great browsers but when you think of what Mozilla has achieved over the past five years since it started, it’s come a really long way. I’ll be staying with Firefox as it’s an excellent browser and I’m excited about the forthcoming release of Firefox 3.6. I have tried Google Chrome & Opera, Google Chrome was blisteringly fast but it’s just not for me. I#ll be keeping an eye out for enhancements made by Google Chrome & Opera but I genuinely can’t see me moving away from the fox.

  7. mprimrose said on January 11, 2010 at 4:48 am

    You always think of an explanation, after you post. Checking through Firefox and No-Script, I notice that one of the sites has google-analytics activated (which I normally dis-allow through No-Script). This may be the reason for the mysterious appearance of goole cookies during the session. Probably should have a look at the session through Wireshark to see what is actually happening.

    Raises two issues. Firstly, how much one comes to rely on No-Script and its ability to block this sort of thing, so one forgets that its not done as normal practice in other browsers. Secondly, one should always peer under the bonnet to see what is happening, and to note if anything strange is happening.

    I may have implied some behaviour by Google, in my previous post, that may not have been correct. I will know after further testing who and what is calling the cookie. But as their own site says, everytime you open an Incognito session …Be wary of: Websites that collect or share information about you

  8. mprimrose said on January 11, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I would like to use the SEWare iron instead of chrome. However since I am using a Slackware-based operating system, Zenwalk (http://www.zenwalk.org/) there appears to be an ongoing issue with libpng12.so.0, in that the Slackware version of the library is compiled without the version information which is held in the libpng12.la file. Without this version information the SRWare iron crashes each time. From my reading, there doesn’t appear to be an easy fix to all of this, since the problem is more with slackware than iron.

    In the meantime, I will continue to run Chrome in Incognito mode, realizing that its not terribly private straight out-od-the-box. I can improve this by manually clearing all the private settings at the end of each session through Options. I can see why Google doesn’t do this, but as a security issue it is an important feature in most other browsers. One wonders why no indepentant developer has not come up with a plugin to cover this functionality.

    It is interesting to note that although the Incognito mode does not store cookies on your system, from the web sites you visit, Google keeps writing a cookie to my system everyso often. And every so often I keep deleting it. if you examine the details of the cookie, it would appear to be a different one each time.

    I should note that Google writes the cookie to my system although I have not during that session visited any google sites. I’m sure there is a logical explanation for this behaviour, though I can’t think of one, since the presence, or otherwise, of a Google cookie does not seen to have any effect on the behaviour or performance of the other websites I am visiting. One must therefore assume that the placing of the Google cookie on my system must only be for the benefit of Google .

  9. rich said on January 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I use Portable Iron version of chrome so google cannot spy. I can run two sessions by using in portable and as default browser- Great. And good plugins now. Incogniti mode only makes chrome private from your wife and kids. This also applies to other brosers – only Iron blocks your privacy against google! I also use Opera Portable and Firefox for duplicate bookmark checking using Checkplaces addon. Otherwise FF is crap but even worse is TB3.

  10. David Levin said on January 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I have and always will be a fan of Internet Explorer. As a web developer it is important for me to use what most of my clients use as my primary browser and become familiar with it. When I develop web apps I use FireFox simply because of the FireBug addon but other than that I don’t use any other browsers except for testing web sites I build.

    Chrome certantly “looks” cool, but I don’t see any reason to switch at this time.

    1. shle896 said on January 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      Uh, Google Chrome more than “looks” cool. Its hands-down the fastest, simplest browser around. Its ridiculously faster than Internet Explorer, which reminds me of browsing the web circa 1998 in comparison.

      You’re a developer and believes that Chrome is nothing but cosmetically different from IE? Really? Alrighty then.

  11. Pishmaster said on January 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

    For me, Google Chrome is my only choice.

    Yes, I’ll use Firefox and Opera because they’re good browsers as well, but Chrome 4 outperforms them easily in speed and the Chrome extensions are so much faster too!

  12. mprimrose said on January 6, 2010 at 4:09 am

    As with a number of people here, I was getting performance issues with FF on my linux installation (mostly cpu usage on sites with a lot of links and the same with Java. Using a combination of browsers atm

    1) arora ( http://code.google.com/p/arora/ ) which is very lightweight and fast and has an Ad Blocker which works. Only downside is that it doesn’t run Java, but for everything else its ideal.

    2) chrome to run the websites that were causing problems in FF I run it in incognito mode, manually clear the user data at the end of each session, and regularly remove the cookie that google keeps putting on my system ( a different on each time as far as I can see from my records) its Java use is much better than FF

    3) Ice weasel ( firefox variant) which I run as a secure user, and need access to No-Script, ad-Block and petname.

    Its basically finding which browser suits which purpose best. I run on a very low powered older system, so browsers such as arora that use little or no resources for my dailty browsing are ideal

  13. Wazzup said on January 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve been an avid fan of opera for ages and only use portable chrome incognito for porn :)

  14. Pawel said on January 4, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Being on a Mac, I use Firefox.
    It is fast and I really cannot think of a reason to switch.
    NoScript, LastPass, and an intuitive Awesome Bar…
    Plus so much more….
    I like it a lot and recommend it to all.

  15. Mike J said on January 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Re complaints about Firefox’s slowness: as I may’ve mentioned before, Ff must be properly configured in about:config for optimum broadband speed.

    1. shle896 said on January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

      Yes, but even an optimized Firefox is much slower than Chrome. If it was just faster “on paper”, I’d pay no attention to it, but it is so noticeably faster it’s ridiculous.

      I suppose it depends on a users needs, too. I’m on the internet all day for my job, so Chrome saves me a lot of time, especially when I’m using an RSS Reader and scrolling through stories with my mouse wheel. In Firefox, there is hesitation between each story scrolled, along with the obligatory hourglass. In Chrome there is NONE of that.

      If you use this for hours upon hours like I do, it QUICKLY adds up! Not to mention that Chrome loads up faster, tabs load faster and if something crashes, it affects only that tab, not the whole browser.

      I never intended to switch to Chrome either, but I just can’t deny it’s superiority. In comparison, Firefox makes me feel like it’s 2001 and I’m on Explorer. Kudos to Chrome!

  16. Kirill said on January 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I’ve used many browsers including Chrome and Firefox. No other than Opera have so convenient, customizable interface and low memory consumption. I like Opera and use it for a long time. But it has some disadvantages such as incorrect displaying of some pages and slow (compared to Chrome) JavaScript engine. I use Opera 10.10 and I hope that poor items will be improved in 10.5 version. I will switch to that one.

  17. Mohammed Sarhan said on January 4, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I think I will stick to FF

  18. Dennis said on January 4, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I’d hop to Chrome if there is an adblock plus equivalent.

    1. shle896 said on January 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      There are TWO versions of Adblock for Chrome.




      I hope you try it.

      As for the “privacy” naysayers, I say, try the Google Chrome Anonymizer if you really think Google gives a crap about your information. Kind of a double standard when everybody points to Google for doing the EXACT same collection of browsing activity as every other browser does. It only enhances your browsing experience and unless you’re browsing for kiddie porn, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Paranoia Will Destroya!

      1. Saurabh said on January 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        They are ad-hiders and not ad-blockers. Not the same thing.

  19. Joe said on January 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    It’s already happening, Martin! Over the last month I find myself using Chrome more and more for one simple reason– speed!

  20. rono said on January 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I use both of the mozila fierfox & google chrome.If you consider about the speed the “google chrome” is the winner.But “mozila firefox” is much customizable & enriched with addons than google chrome.I gonna test two lessfamous but intersting web browser in 2010 one is “cometbird” a clone of mozila firefox but much lighter & support almost every addon of mozila firefox & another is “lunascape” the first hybrid web browser made by japan.It use the three popular web engine of internet explorer 8,mozila firefox,google chrome & safari.It also support all the addon/plugin of internet expolrer & mozila firefox.It also has its own addon.

  21. kate said on January 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    1. Chrome
    been using it for several months now. i got sick of firefox’s bugs and slowness. they need to revamp it, in my opinion. chrome is much faster for me, and a lot more convenient …only the minimal things at the top of the browser- (no file, menu, edit, view, help, etc.)

    ps: i have a fairly old laptop, from 2003. it runs fine, just that it gets really slow quite often because of the lack of ram.

  22. kalmly said on January 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I used FF exclusively for years but after the upgrade to 3.5 I’ve had to resort to IE more and more. Why? It is now the faster of the two – on my system. It never fails to load a page or send a comment and it never drops me in the middle of making a payment (#@!?). My current plan is to install Opera and give it a good test run. Google? No, thank you.

  23. punk_rock_guitar said on January 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    1. Firefox
    2. Opera
    yeah maybe firefox is using some more RAM, but computers have become so powerfull, another 100mb of ram don’t bother me. firefox is a great browser, has anything anyone needs, so is opera. i really can’t understand people switching to google chrome. i’d prefer internet explorer instead of chrome, google’s privacy policy is something people should consider. now everybody hates microsoft for their monopoly ,but in 5 or 10 years their place will be taken by google. i don’t see the point in supporting their browser

  24. kevin said on January 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I love to use IE

    1. bf said on January 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm

      You probably got lost. Just kidding.

  25. Eaglenik said on January 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Firefox for the extensions.
    Memoryfox defrags firefox memory and keeps usage low so we good.
    I am willing to sacrifice memory to use all those amazing extensions.

  26. Tobey said on January 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Opera. :-)
    I wondered at you even considering the switch away from FF Martin but I guess it would make sense even for you if it’s too much of a system hog.

    @Rarst: You and Opera…? Who would’ve guessed! ;-)

    Happy 2010 to all Operators and the others too!

    1. Rarst said on January 3, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Hehe… Note that I don’t use Opera just because, I use it cause it fits my needs and habits best.

      I would have no trouble switching if some browser satisfies my needs just as well plus more to justify change itself with learning curve and such.

      1. Tobey said on January 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

        The only disadvantage in Opera I see from my standpoint is its lack of real plug-in support but that’s something I’ve managed to get along with, as long as Opera remains the intuitive and feature-packed browser it is.

  27. naoan said on January 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Opera, always have always will.

  28. Kevin said on January 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Opera 10.5 pre-alpha. I’ve felt that its faster than Chrome Dev or FF 3.7. All I needed before I made the switch was the comptability of GreaseMonkey scripts, which works perfectly on Opera 10.5

  29. Sushant @ techooze said on January 3, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Looks like I’ll have to try chrome but seriously I’m satisfied with firefox

  30. shle896 said on January 3, 2010 at 4:50 am

    About a week after Chrome came out, I decided to download it just for a try. I never expected to use it more than two or three times before I uninstalled it like I do a lot of programs.

    So, imagine my surprise that I have yet to look back. To put it bluntly, it’s just so damned fast! Firefox seems downright sluggish in comparison. Nothing comes close to matching it’s speed. And now with themes and extensions, it’s better yet!!

  31. Umut said on January 3, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Opera doesn’t support lastpass but keepass global hotkey Ctrl+Alt+A support Opera, from that unique id i don’t want to use Chrome i have a trust issue on it even i remove it. I think Opera with new javascript engine would be my choice on 2010, and i believe opera would gain somethin’ significant in 2010.

  32. BiLLi0 said on January 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Opera 4 ever.

  33. HNicolai said on January 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I will use “Chromium” (Chrome) as my primary if they make it more stable on linux, because it craches when I visit YouTube or other video streaming sites.

    But if Opera release a finish (not alpha or beta) of the new (and fast) opera browser, before Chrome is stabile, then im going to use opera :)

    The only reason I use FF right now is because “TamperData” and “NoScript”

  34. Hey silly said on January 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I use all 5 browsers which makes me ahead of all of you who waste your time with your ego.

    i will uninstall chrome and fox when opera get a linkextend widget and also when it allows multiple pages to open for the home page ,good thing there’s speed dial.

  35. Rage said on January 2, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    What kind of stupid question is that? Firefox forever! And honestly I don’t know why everyone complains about memory usage by firefox? I use it A LOT, opening documents, pictures in great HUGE sizes (10000×10000), multitabs, using e-mail, facebook (incl. Java apps AND MORE) and I can never pass 70MB of mem usage. I think there’s something definitely wrong with everyone’s configuration and tweaks made. I have limits set to everything and with a few tweaks and useful extentions firefox is always working for me. Nothing else!

    1. Mike J said on January 3, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      Huh. My memory usage with Ff passes 200MB in an hour or two. I have a habit of exiting & restarting the browser.I only use four add-on’s.

  36. Chris said on January 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Mozilla Firefox for me all time no other web browser.

  37. Roman ShaRP said on January 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    No, I don’t think that I switch in 2010. I switched from Opera to Firefox in 2008, and for now I don’t have any reasons to drop Firefox.

    I prefer functionality to speed, and now Firefox + extensions (I use more than 50) have all functionality I require, but I doubt that all other do.

  38. Jhapa said on January 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Firefox is so overrated,it’s sad. Opera for me !

  39. Anon said on January 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Opera for me. It looks like the problem on login without expiring was resolved by LastPass/Opera recently so I will stick to them.

  40. crhmoegaf said on January 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    The web without Adblock plus for me is impossible now after many with it. Firefox+Adblock plus speed-wise = chrome without. Sure chrome have addons, but it’s running user the same javascript engine and can’t do much beyond manipulating itself. Adblock+ actually block incoming ads traffic while chrome’s solution can only hide them with display:none; css. Every other browser have a proper way that actually block ads. IE8 has privacy filter, Opera has content block, and even SRW Iron (chrome’s clone) has the adblock list feature.
    Google would never allow a true extension feature like Firefox’s because Google lives on advertising, and they need the traffic from it. Thus I will not be using Chrome, but its clone SRW Iron instead. Of course only when I want to. FF would still be my working horse.

  41. Lighthouse Boy said on January 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Firefox all the way for me. Chrome is a bit faster, but, unlike Firefox, does not do what I want (Adblock Plus, Noscript, Stylish and Greasemonkey are all essentials for me…).

    Also, Chrome has a really un-user friendly UI, especially for those of us that avoid using the mouse unless absolutely necessary. Sadly, Firefox seems intent on going down the same route, but, I await the ‘Classic UI’ add-on eagerly….

  42. junkman said on January 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve always used FireFox and I hope I’ll be using it till my dying day. ;)

  43. Saurabh said on January 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve never stuck to just one browser but in 2009, I made Opera my primary browser after having it on the computer for a long time. And so it will probably be Opera,Chrome,Firefox in that order for 2010.

    When I made the switch from ff to opera, I too was troubled by the lack of a Lastpass extension. But at that time Turbo was necessary for me(for conserving bandwidth usage). After a slight effort I ported all my passwords and usernames to Opera Wand. Since then all my passwords stay both places.(Not much of a effort since my list of sites have more or less stabilised).
    Then I hunted equivalents for my 15-20 “musthave ” addons (some of which were regularly crashing Firef ox)including abp, autopagerize , etc . I found equivalents for each of them. Since then its responsive interface and its high customizability(not apparent at first) have kept me hooked.

    1. Crodol said on January 4, 2010 at 3:48 am

      I am also thinking about moving from FF to Opera, would you mind posting the Opera equivalents of your most important FF extension?

      1. Saurabh said on January 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm

        Which ones do you use?

  44. Jojo said on January 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I will stick with FF. I have too much invested in the customizations (via extensions). I don’t find FF to be slow at all.

    But yes, their are memory issues with FF. When I’ve tried to discuss this issue in the FF forums, the FF fanboys always get upset and point to extensions as the blame. But since FF doesn’t offer any tools for checking memory usage by extension, there is no easy way to figure out WHICH extension is causing the problem.

    One recent memory example: Just a few days ago I was experimenting with the Multifox extension you featured here a couple of weeks ago. This extension is one of those that sucks up memory when it is invoked and DOES NOT release it when closed. Of course, the author claims never heard of this problem before. :)

    Perhaps when FF switches to an individual address space for each tab (like Google does), we will be able to get more control over memory usage in FF.

    As for Google Chrome, I don’t trust Google for privacy reasons. So I doubt I will ever switch to Chrome.

    I’ve posted this link before. Chrome users should watch this! Also look at other similar videos that show up on the right side when you view this one.

    Privacy & Google Chrome Browser

    1. Mike J said on January 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      I don’t trust Google either–so give Iron a try!
      I will stick with Firefox v2 (I am starting not to trust Mozilla either) & the new version of Iron.
      Opera is a pain.

  45. Rarst said on January 2, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Opera for me. :) New version of internals will bring speed up to date and rest remains just as compact and polished experience.

    Chrome sure matured some, but not interesting enough to switch (yet?).

  46. -bwg said on January 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I use and typically have open all of Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. I occasionally open IE when some web site doesn’t display or work correctly on one of those or when I want to access a web page I autolog onto using the others. I like (liked) Opera for Yahoo mail (classic version) because I use its “reload every” function to reload the page every 15 minutes. (The Firefox Reloadevery extension seems not to work with YMail, even with the most current production Firefox and Reloadevery versions.) I’ve recently noticed Opera taking more memory and CPU than I like. In fact last night I found it using over 500MB of memory which I traced to YMail and attributed to ads it was displaying. I moved it over to Chrome 4 with the ad thwart and chromereload extensions installed. That appears to have solved the problem.

    Aside from different sets of open tabs with different icons as visual cues to which window has which set I may be running out of reasons to use Opera.

  47. kipo said on January 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    No script, google toolbar, and and complete support of my native Arabic language would turn me immediately to Chrome.

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