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:
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?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.