Advertising works it seems, as Google’s first product to be advertised on TV in Britain, its Chrome browser, has become more popular than Firefox.
According to statistics from StatCounter, Google Chrome is now the second most popular internet browser in the UK having overtaken Firefox. Chrome currently has 22 per cent of the UK users, which is just ahead of Mozilla’s Firefox. Both still trail Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which has 45 per cent of the market – though its popularity is on the wane in recent years as browsers like Chrome and Firefox offer more flexibility and better speed.
Despite Firefox 4 being downloaded five million times in the first 24 hours when launched in March, the numbers using the open source browser have been consistently falling off since January and these latest figures reflect that fall.
According to the man behind Chrome, the key to browser success is speed: "Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it's also about the minimal design and the way it handles security. If you as a user try [to load] a webpage and it feels snappy, it's really hard to go back [to another browser]. It has shown that people spend more time interacting with the web," Lars Bak told the Guardian from his base in a converted farm-house in Denmark.
While Chrome markets itself as the fastest browser available, and with many tests backing up this claim, Bak is not ready to rest on his laurels and believes Chrome could be a lot faster: “You should never be happy with [existing] speed. Of course it gets harder to make substantial gains, but it's all healthy competition. From the beginning we wanted everybody to be fast, and now all browsers are fast. I'm absolutely flabbergasted [by the improvements made by rival browsers]."