Why isn't Google Chrome losing market share?
Google's Chrome web browser is the dominating web browser on desktop and on mobile. Statcounter, one of the leading third-party trackers of usage, lists the worldwide market share of Chrome by 66.14% on desktop and 64.31% on mobile in December 2022.
Compared to the browser's market share at the beginning of 2022, where Statcounter saw it at 65.38% and 62.06% respectively, it even managed to gain. These fluctuations may be attributed to the imprecise method of monitoring usage over time. Stats fluctuate from one month to the other.
If you look at trends, you may notice that Chrome's market share remained stable throughout 2022. Why is that? Why are not browsers such as Firefox, Brave, Opera or Vivaldi able to capture a larger percentage of the market?
Multiple factors play a role. To begin, it is important to look at the two main markets: desktop and mobile.
The situation is clear on mobile. Google Chrome is the default web browser on many Android devices. In fact, if you remove Safari, which is the de-facto only mobile browser on Apple devices, then Chrome's dominance becomes even more apparent. Safari had a global mobile market share of 23.55, but the browser is not available for Android. The next Android browser is Samsung's Internet browser; it has a market share of 5.06%. There is virtually no competition on Android regarding web browsers.
It is more complicated on desktop. Chrome has a commanding lead on desktop as well, even though Google's operating system ChromeOS plays barely any roll on desktop. Microsoft with Windows and Apple with macOS dominate desktop. There is also Linux, but it plays less of a role when you look at the market share.
Apple does well with Safari on macOS, but it plays no role on Windows or Linux. Chrome leads on Windows, and even though Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Windows, it managed to rise from 9.54% in January 2022 to 10.98% in December 2022 only. The rise came at the expense of other browsers, Firefox in particular, which lost a bit of market share according to Statcounter.
Why is Chrome dominating on Windows, even though Microsoft Edge is the default browser? Here, several factors are at play:
- Chrome has been recommended for years, especially in the beginning, as it promised better speed and security over other browsers available at the time.
- Chrome offers good compatibility, reliability, protection against security issues and speed.
- Google services sometimes run better in Chrome, either because of new APIs that Chrome supports and others don't, or work that Google puts into improving its services for other browsers.
- Google focused on speed and getting developers on board initially.
- Google is using its dominance on the Web to promote Chrome exclusively on its properties.
- Chrome is available on desktop and on mobile, and syncing works well.
- Google has not modified the interface of the browser or its core functionality significantly in the past.
If you combine these factors, you end up with a fast browser that works well on the Internet, syncs between all devices, and is reliable when it comes to the user interface.
Even with plenty of great browsers to try, many of which are based on the same core as Chrome and offering more and better functionality, it appears that the majority of users keep on using Chrome. Why change something that works?
There is little chance that another browser will come along that is making such a big impact as Chrome did back when it was released. Most browser are based on Chromium, the code that Chrome uses. Even Microsoft, one of the biggest tech companies in the world, decided to use Chromium as the source for its new browser.
There are few companies left with the financial power and capabilities to produce a brand new browser that is not based on Chromium.
Chrome could see a reduction in market share when Google makes mistakes or implements strategies that are not in the best interests of users. Manifest V3 could be such a disruptive event, but Google modified it several times already to make the blow to certain types of extensions less painful or even noticeable at all.
It seems unlikely that the situation will change much in 2023.
Now You: why do you think that Chrome is that dominating?
Chrome isn’t losing market share because it works. Always. It’s my third browser to use in those sites where Edge and Firefox doesn’t work fine (e.g. Orange, java web applet sites, and so forth).
Plus Edge is trying to hard to be “edg-y” and pushing to many features that are not useful.
I use Edge for some things and many times I had to reconfigure it to open on a blak page. Every few weeks it reinstate some pages with news, and other links that benefit more Microsoft than my intented use.
I undestand the business decision to try to be the “everything app” but some companies/developers had to comprehend that most of times we prefer app with seggregate functions. Just like the meme that show a calculator app asking permission to see your location and to make call on your phone.
and I properly dont know what happened, but Firefox in the last years lost much of its speed/stability.
Not on my linux mint install it isn’t..firefox is very speedy and reliable.
Edge is copying the worst parts about Vivaldi at this point.
I want to like Vivaldi, but it’s so damn sluggish and slow even on an SSD.
i think because the alternatives isnt appealing enough.
i used to be firefox user back when it still use old extension, the appealing factor is there with extension. not so much nowaday. removed it in the early 2022 during its hot controversy. gonna install librewolf instead on linux when i move from windows, it will serve as backup browser though.
i used vivaldi right now, problem is “bug” is a thing once a in while. rarely there a release without noticable bug. but i stay anyway cause “customizability”. its too nice to leave it.
brave…well i didnt use mainly because i despised crypto. i know it can be disabled but eh. no beef with it except most of time the update changelog is about crypto which makes me turned off to use this browser
opera is out by default. search the term in ghacks to find out why.
edge?, hahaha it from microsoft lol…cant & wont trust it after the global win 10 controversy, though im still using windows 7.
lastly chrome on windows, its there as backup like internet explorer. i rarely used it but its there when i need to use it. i dont trust google as much as i dont trust microsoft but eh too lazy uninstall it since its been there more than a decade ago, gotta move from both google & microsoft ecosystem soon anyway except for phone cause im clueless about phone alternatives.
Chrome is fast, simple and reliable. It doesn’t overstrain it’s users with too may features built in.
That’s what most people want – a fast browser that doesn’t get in your way and never lets you down.
Unless there will be a (new) browser that brings the same speed improvement over Chrome as Chrome did over the competition when it first came out, then there is nothing for Google to worry about.
Manifest V3 is probably only cause a small dent. Wasn’t the harsh truth that 75 percent of browser users don’t even have any additional add-ons installed?
I also never understood how Firefox never caught on as a “cool” browser for (young) people who care about a better future for the planet. Firefox is fighting for the good of the web – would it have been such a hard PR stunt to pull to let people know that the fight for a good web also benefits the world and lastly the planet?
Google Chrome: It’s reliable, it’s available, it’s serviceable. RAS, it’s a thing !!!
The browsers mentioned as alternatives to Google Chrome in this article are all excellent. There are many that are not mentioned, that are very good too. Thank goodness we get to choose the one that best suits our needs and preferences. GC offers a free, very reliable, well maintained browser to any user who wants it (warts included) – you agree with the T&Cs and it feeds their business.
“Why isn’t Google Chrome losing market share?”
You always have those who know and decide accordingly, but most of us use products blindly.
Market share for those who know is unavailable I guess. What OS, what browsers do technically literate users prefer? No idea.
For others, the vast majority, the question might as well be “Why are advertisement and marketing so efficient?”
Because they are, even for (some of) those who are fed up.
Brainwashing, sheep attitude, fear of not being in the leading band, eagerness to be where others are, snowball syndrome and, last but not least, the new consumerist’s attitude : privacy is nice but what the heck if I don’t get what I want now? What the heck if I have to burn my brains to trigger/enhance my privacy?
I don’t know what the best is. I do know that I will never again (I have in the past) give a lower priority to privacy. From there on I avoid Google, its products, its services, as i try to avoid all of GAFAM.
I speak from a PC user’s point of view. No idea about smartphones given I use none and have no intention to.
1. Google is a public company with lots of cash and investors that expect results–not only search engine results, but profits.
2. Google is now the second biggest spender in Washington D.C. [read again–lobbying!]
3. The founders of Google [once BackRub], Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are two of the smartest men in America. Elon Musk? Not even close when Intelligence is measured by PC Mag.
4. Page and Brin fine-tuned the algorithm for web searches to include “backlinks” which makes Google the superior search engine. All other search engines are imitations of the one Original.
5. The term “google” is a verb that found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary and the language–the Culture of the World. “Google” is in our collective unconscious [Jung].
6. Google makes it a point of recruiting the brightest and talented minds from the recently graduated classes of the Ivy League; it’s known to be THE coolest place to work.
7. Google owns YouTube.
8. Who owns Android in spirit, there’s no mystery: it’s Google.
9. Advertising–Google makes it easy for advertisers to advertise and analyze results.
10. Google offers other services such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides; they placed Chrome OS on laptops that infiltrated public education for an irresistible price. Nearly free.
As TinyWow says:
Google’s dominance as an influential force in the technology industry is a result of many different facets. Its search engine alone has revolutionized the way we find and access information, while its many other offerings — such as Gmail, Maps, Translate, and more — have made accessing information and completing tasks easier than ever before. All of this has helped to make Google a formidable titan in the world of tech.
One of the primary factors in Google’s success is its excellent search algorithm, which is able to quickly sort through billions of web pages and generate highly accurate search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, Google is able to take any query and quickly generate a list of relevant and reliable results. This level of accuracy, speed, and efficiency is simply unparalleled in the industry, and it’s one of the primary components of Google’s dominance.
Google has also taken steps to make sure its products are as user-friendly and accessible as possible. The interface of its search engine is uncluttered and easy to understand, while its suite of other products is designed to be as straightforward and intuitive as possible. This not only makes Google’s products more appealing to users, but it also helps to ensure that they are quick and easy to use.
Google has also taken steps to ensure that its products reach a wide audience. Google has invested heavily in internationalizing its products, with its search engine, Gmail, and Maps available in more than 50 languages. This allows users all over the world to access Google’s products with ease, and it furthers the level of accessibility that Google offers.
Google has also heavily invested in online advertising and has created a wide range of opportunities for businesses and individuals alike to advertise their products and services. In addition, Google has used its resources to strongly encourage webmasters and businesses to optimize their websites for its search engine, which has led to a more streamlined and accurate SERP process.
Google has also excelled in promoting its products, with its array of advertisements being seen virtually everywhere. Regardless of where you look on the web, it’s highly unlikely you won’t find an advertisement for a Google service, as the company has made sure its business is seen on a wide variety of platforms.
Overall, Google’s dominance in the tech industry is largely due to its innovative technology, excellent search algorithm, user-friendly and accessible platforms, wide international reach, effective advertising resources, and shrewd promotional efforts. As a result, Google stands as an unstoppable giant in the tech world.
Best explanation here ever. +1000
All that may be necessary conditions but they wouldn’t be sufficient if users weren’t blind/deaf/uninterested by the reality, by what it means in terms of their very own lives :
Google Watchdog [https://www.googlewatchdog.com/]
The result is here and now : depressing. But not hopeless. Alternatives exist. I can testify with many others that de-googling is not a problem. The problem is to be committed, or not, to a healthy Web.
Most, and I mean MOST, are not blind to the realities of data collection policies, monitoring of purchasing habits, location, travel or listening to their voice constantly over their phone microphone. Just ask them, and they’ll tell you that the benefits they derive from being immersed in the Google ecosystem FAR outweigh the privacy concerns. These people see our longing for such privacy as suspect or even outmoded. The benefits of GPS directions, voice commands, TikTok videos and YouTube rabbit holes are something they refuse to live without.
These are NOT ignorant people. Remember that. They are very conscious of their choice here.
I did mention several reasons ; blind/deaf/uninterested but not ignorance, even if may apply to some but certainly not to most. Your comment relates the reasons of those who are uninterested : “the benefits they derive from being immersed in the Google ecosystem FAR outweigh the privacy concerns”. Indeed. And I sign and persist to sat that this is a problem, this is THE problem. Majorities are always right? They have their rights of course, but that doesn’t mean they are right. You see, what bothers me are less authoritarians than slaves when the latter no longer react. Indeed, users, most and nowadays, choose easy ecosystems to outweigh their privacy.
Also, included, is an aspect of mass psychology when principles, be they of morality, honesty, dignity are considered in relationship to those of a majority. Should tomorrow be voted a law entitling a business to shoot a thief say after three robberies that some would follow the law and others refer to their own consciousness. Another example : hypnotism : it’s been experienced that some women clearly would never be untrue but remain suggestable under hypnotism whilst others not. We face our freedom of thinking truly and independently of society. Or not.
Why do people who know nothing about technology use a product that spies on them and sells their secrets for mega-billions in profits?
I don’t know, you could ask that same question about all Apple products, about all MS products, about Facebook, about Oracle.
Sheeple will sheeple. Baaa-aaaa-aa-a.
For the same reason IE (Trident) held high marketshare even when few actually used it: engine embedded inside apps, or reused by theose.
If your app or game needs to consume or display web/html content, youre mosly forced to embed a chromium build (counted by the firms providing analytics on the web and within apps without differetntiation as “one more chrome install”), even though that means that for every one firefox install, a user may have and be using “multiple chrome installs” on the same machine.
Mozilla restoring embeddability of gecko and separating its development from that of the firefox browser itself would restore balance – apps, games and prospective makers of alternative browsers would put gecko back on the map and rebalance web content around firefox-compatible implementations.
Every install of firefox on mobile (500 millions) is one that was deliberate. Someone search for it or followed the download link from mozilla.
Chrome who is mandated to be preinstalled. For an idea of the difference it makes, deserted wasteland google+ and a mediocre chat app each had over a billion installs somehow (!!?) even though barely anyone used them.
Mozilla can keep gaining users day in day out, the problem it has is that google KEEPS debauching users of firefox by bombarding them almost immediately after they installed it with constant “your browser sucks, browse our websites using chrome” prompts.
Mozilla must make its deals with google include a clause that requires firefox users to never be subjected to any such scare messages, so that every user it gains is a user it gets to keep (or barring that, demand antitrust authorities force google to).
Good article! And some good comments!
For a mobile browser, I have been using Mull on F-Droid for a while now. Its a modified version of a Firefox for Android browser. Really nice! It continues to get updates. I have some add-ons installed. I still recommend it.
For desktop, this line from the article rings true:
“7. Google has not modified the interface of the browser or its core functionality significantly in the past.”
I don’t want to create another giant browser argument thread, but it is a shame how Firefox destroyed itself, both in losing much of the add-on customization, and in changing the UI/UX. Watching inexperienced users try to do stuff in Firefox menus now is almost funny. Its almost like they were trying to lose users.
> “I don’t want to create another giant browser argument thread, but it is a shame how Firefox destroyed itself, both in losing much of the add-on customization, and in changing the UI/UX. Watching inexperienced users try to do stuff in Firefox menus now is almost funny. Its almost like they were trying to lose users.”
You must have a bunch of gals ‘n’ guys agreeing with that. Count me in. It’s been and continues to be a big, a gigantic mistake. Improving the fundamentals, adding unavoidable features : yes. Adding exotic ones, breaking the layout with continuous changes which leads users to a mountain of complains on Reddit, here and elsewhere : NO.
Strategy mistakes are more than mistakes, they are errors.
I have (as much as is possible) de-Googed. Currently (still) using WaterFox Classic and Vivaldi mostly, but open to other browsers if they behave.
because it still is the best browser as of today…despite what fanboys of other browsers say with fearmongering privacy tactics hoping to encourage people to not use Chrome…Chrome itself is the best of the best. I have tried all the browsers. Nothings comes close to Google Chrome.
Google provided some nice competition for the 500 pound gorilla M$.
We need more Googles and less M$.
Well, I am sure a lot of the marketshare is also taken from forks that are clearly seen as Chrome/Chromium.
For example, Brave’s user-agent is exactly the same as Chrome, how can these marketshare pages tell the difference?
Unless they use the Brave’s window.navigator ‘API’ Brave added to identify Brave, which is the reason why so many websites like Zoro, 9anime and Archive and others can easily block Brave, because you can identify it easily.
Brave has a scriptlet-injection that deals with it, all it needs to do is delete Navigator.prototype.brave or delete window.navigator.brave and done, it will be seen as Chrome only again.
I think that’s why the marketshare doesn’t go down, Firefox’s marketshare is going down which means some people must have chosen, most likely, a Chromium/Blink browser, and maybe that browser has the same user-agent as Chrome, seeing it as using Chrome.
So how can anyone be sure marketshare is accurate if that’s the case?
Also, doesn’t Statcounter only can get marketshare from websites that are using Statcounter? what about browsers that block it? in 2019 Statcounter was used by 1% of websites, and seeing how it might be clicks and not unique visitors, then who knows how accurate it is, sounds more like a way to shape an alternative reality.
How many people do you see using Chrome? I see as many people using Chrome than Opera GX, then I have seen fewer people with Brave and couple with Firefox but never Vivaldi or Librewolf outside forums or reddit saying they use them and they are the best of the best.
So I think people shouldn’t even care about Google’s marketshare, they should care about the amount of Chromium/Blink browsers around, since Google will be able to shape the internet to its liking because most Browsers will be just forks using the master Chromium by google. Firefox, gets paid to exist by Google, and it is always implement anything Google says like Manifestv3 or when they switched to web extensions.
Apple, well, webkit is webkit, you can’t even use an alternative engine in iOS so that’s why probably people know they shouldn’t even care to find an alternative browser. Brave is okay on iOS but it is not even great compared to Android because webkit is the one in charge of the adblocking, like how Manifestv3 will be in charge of that and the extensions have to ‘translate’ their rules so the declarativeNetRequest will do the job.
Chrome works, I know that’s why people use it as well, or because websites tell them “oh, you need Chrome to use the website” but obviously it will work in Edge or most browsers, people who are not too tech savvy will follow instructions and install Chrome because of that even if they haven’t even tested the site with their current browser. Just normal people using what it is available and not complicating too much their lives, especially on Android, where they will get a better deal by using Chrome than other browsers since they will already have a Google account and they don’t care about ads and trackers and all that infested in websites.
But in the end it is the, why should people care? if normal person who doesn’t care or know about technical stuff uses Google or Samsung since they are available in their phones, and that gives marketshare because they never even thought to find something else… then who cares? If people want to use Brave or Vivaldi or Librewolf or Firefox or whatever, then congratulations, the world will not change and will stay just the same even if you pretend not using Chrome somehow makes you a better person than people who does.
@Garou, interesting, pertinent comment.
> […] So I think people shouldn’t even care about Google’s marketshare […]
I think there is no reason to consider market share of whatever product, service, unless we’re in a business concerned by these stats. I linger to understand the correlation between a product’s/service’s market share and its quality. Relying on market share participates to the snowball effect : the only required trigger for a company is to instill the idea that its product is a leader, even if it isn’t yet, and followers eager to have what all have (according to?) get the snowball thicker day by day. This is what marketing is all about and unfortunately it works because.
‘Freedom of thought’ on Wikipedia : [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_thought]
Start today to think freely and behave accordingly and marketing will be on its knees.
I should have added that because a defect is often the exaggeration of a quality, striving for freedom of thought on the basis that the information provided by any source other than ourselves is fake by definition leads to conspiracy mentalities and theories. The idea is that it may be fake as it might be true, in other words liberty of thinking requires not a refusal but a doubt, that of all sources, that of our very own certitudes. I needed to correct my above comment in order to avoid any implicit temptation to and legitimacy of conspiracy state of minds which I consider as naive as taking all for granted is. Why are we reluctant to doubt is another topic.
Article: “Safari […] market share of 23.55”. Perhaps writing: 23.55 [per cent] or 23.55[%] would be more appropriate.
It’s not the size of your statistic, it’s what you do with it that counts.
“Why is Chrome dominating on Windows ?”
Because Google search has 99%. No one runs Google search from Edge, Firefox…..
I wonder if things change with Manifesto v3.
Nothing will change, few people use adblocker, and even less people use extensions. Mozilla has this data CMIIW.
I read article couple of years ago that some websites complained that 20-25% of their users used adblockers. There could be few percent switch.
Because people use google stuff, drive, search, photos, gmail, youtube etc. Chrome has all of them in chrome’s homepage. It’s that simple. And no matter what some people want to believe, chrome has to be way worse than competition like internet explorer was to make people to search for another browser. It’s not. Browsers of small companies don’t affect google. Maybe edge could take some marketshare from chrome but they have bing as homepage and bing is so inferior to google search in every possible way and the masses stop using edge because of bing. Yes, the masses don’t know or even care to change the default search engine on it.
This telemetry collecting platform isn’t losing share, coz people like to be grey herd.
Because almost everything works in Chrome, whilst in the others it just sometimes doesn’t. Edge is okay-ish, but it pushes Bing. Firefox, I can’t be bothered.
Chrome never did try to be anything more than a good web browser. I think maybe the other browsers should also reflect on this trend. Users want less not more features and if they want a browser to do more, then provide that in extensions and not baked into the browser. Are you listening Microsoft?
A bit off-topic but Samsung’s Internet browser is a rare pre-installed app (also available on play store for other devices) that is definitely better than Chrome. See it’s review on android central or howtogeeks.