Browser Wars: Chrome will pass/has passed Firefox, Safari Up among users

Chrome Passes Firefox, Google May Pull Out Support: I stopped using Firefox around the 20th time it made me do something I shouldn't have had to do because it sucked as a browser. Firefox used to be my hero, now I regard it as somewhat dangerous, and I only use Google Chrome. My productivity has gone way up.

(Update: Check out the Linux Journal Readers Choice awards vis-a-vis browsers.)

Apparently other people have had similar experiences, because according to at least some measures, Firefox has been overtaken by Chrome in the browser wars. Chrome is now the "new number 2" second only to the Browser for the Stupid People (and there are a lot of stupid people).

On, one year ago, Firefox was browser number one among our readers (42%) followed by IE (22%) with chrome coming in at third with 17%. Today, we hae Firefox at 32%, Chrome at 26% and IE at 20% with, notably, Safari moving out of the single digit pack and reaching 13%.

I suspect that reflects an increase in mobile browser use. At a later time, I may delve into those data more closely.

Anyway, the word on the street is that Google may drop support of Firefox. Firefox is not simply being used less, but has had other problems that have annoyed users and developers, and the sort sorts of personnel changes that often signal trouble. None of which I care about since I don't use it any more.


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Personally I like Opera, it's the browser I am on right now. I know that Opera's overall usage is in the low single digits for some reason, but it has the most useful combination of features for me.

OK, I'm giving Chrome a try on your say-so. At least the favicon on FTB shows up (unlike in FireFox) -- Brownian was right; it looks like the eye of Horus.

By Physicalist (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

I jumped over to Chrome this year when Firefox started crashing quite regularly. The only time I use Firefox now is when I need to download a youtube video. I have add-ons that download and convert it, and I suppose Chrome could do that if I looked, but not going to bother just yet. By the way, I like Chrome's app store--some good educational apps, and some brain games/puzzles.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

I tried Chrome (Windows version) early on, and it repulsed me. The issues were fairly fundamental things, like inserting itself into the startup process without even asking, and ignoring the window manager in favor of its own rendering of window decorations (or whatever that would be called in Windows).

My main complaint with Firefox these days is that it seems to be chasing Chrome in some respects. The version numbering thing is particularly silly -- we started the year with Firefox 3.x, and are now up to 8.x.

Also, Firefox's page rendering seems a bit inferior to Safari's lately, and overall, Firefox doesn't seem to be advancing much, outside the version numbering. But it's still... good enough? I guess. It runs all my plugins (that haven't been orphaned), and it's got all my bookmarks and passwords saved in it. So it's got inertia on its side.

I'd be interested to hear your specific issues with Firefox.

P.S. I'm mostly on a Mac these days and was mostly on Linux at the time I tried Chrome, but it was only available for Windows at the time.

P.P.S. ...which I considered a bad sign.

Firefox used to be my hero also. Problem is, as I see it, the developers, albeit unpaid as they are, all seem to have systems with huge amounts of memory and broadband connections so they were not deterred by the lethargic and memory hogging (unstable) aspects of the browser they work on. With a high-speed connection and box with 16GB of RAM it was working fine for them.

It was only after a few thousand people with lesser connections and quantities of RAM complained that the Mozilla team, in the last release or two, got interested about memory holes. The "Mozilla community" responsiveness is pretty much nonexistent if you are not actively programming and fluent in techno-speak. They seemed much more concerned with accommodating the latest programming fashion that maintaining a solid and stable browser.

I asked many questions, made comments, sent e-mails, generally enthusiastically offered my two cents and never got so much as a peep in response. Their troubleshooting and instruction system is useless if you don't know the exact term for what you are having problems with. Even then nobody with real knowledge ever seems to read the forums and all you get is hearsay from people who know no more than you do. Frustrated I shifted to Chrome just to have a usable browser without having to resort to Explorer.

I switched to Chrome for a few months but missed the extras. With the last release, 8.0 I think, is more stable and I went back to Firefox. It still sucks up RAM like a sailor drinking beer on shore leave but, mostly, is stable and doesn't run away with all of it like it did a few releases ago.

Firefox was my hero app but they failed to maintain hard standards. If a browser is unstable enough to crash outright, sometimes even crashing the system, it is useless. I don't give a hoot how swift with all the latest standards and technology if it doesn't work reliably.

I like Opera, it has features I love. Like reloading pictures without reloading the entire page as it makes working over a slow connection easier. It seems faster over a slow connection overall. But it lacks a lot of features and I never was comfortable with the interface.

Anyway ... Firefox has improved in the last few releases. I just hope it gets back to being the feisty browser that always worked.

I also use Opera. I must admit I haven't tried Chrome for more than five minutes, so I'm not qualified to comment on it, but Opera is clearly a better browser than Firefox, Safari or IE. About the only thing about it that isn't awesome is that the bigwigs (particularly those bigwigs who make browsers of their own) don't bother supporting it. This is less trouble than you might think, really.

The "some reason" that causes Opera to be in the single digits is obviously that it doesn't have a big backer to push it like the other browsers (MS, Apple, Google, entire open-source movement), and that's a pity really.

By Ketil Tveiten (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

I should ad that I hated chrome for similar reasons, then I liked it for similar reasons.

I use Chrome almost all the time after a brief, failed flirtation with Firefox which I only keep becasue it is compatible with ONE proprietary editing program I have to use - still have IE to fall back because for some reason, the latest version of Chrome does not seem to be able to support organizing my bookmarks the way they are in IE - and importing them does not seem to work the way it should. I have tried in vain to find the instructions for making a copy of my IE Favorites to import to Chrome, without success. Otherwise I love it - I can have as many tabs open as I want, whilst in IE it gets wonky with only 3 or 4 tabs (NOT even windows) open at once. IE is better than it was before but Chrome is far superior, and it also warns/blocks me from unsafe sites - try that with IE. No contest!

Still using Firefox (on Gnu/Linux) here. I've dabbled with Chrome a bit, but just couldn't warm up to it. Also, I'm using quite a few extensions with Firefox that I would just hate to do without. I work the browser pretty hard, so I have had Firefox crash on me once or twice, but then, I managed to crash Chrome also. All in all, I have found Firefox quite stable, with ever impriving performance.

In the final analysis, I'm sticking with Firefox because I know that the Mozilla people are motivated to do what is best for the user and the Internet community. While I generally like Google, when push comes to shove I think Google will do what is best for Google, even if it's not good for me.

I tried using Opera on Ubuntu, but it just couldn't handle certain pages for some reason. I'll probably come back to it later, just as I ended up coming back to Chrome once it worked out the bugs.

Odd. I've used Firefox for for years and have never had any trouble with it at all. Works fine, does what I want to do. I also use Safari (incl. at this moment) and sometimes Opera. I've never noticed that any one of those is clearly better overall than the others. The advantages of one over another must be either be pretty subtle or involve features I don't use.

By Achrachno (not verified) on 06 Dec 2011 #permalink

Personally I like Avant browser, especially the rendering mode switcher. it's the browser I am on right now. I know that Avant browser's overall usage is in the low single digits for some reason, but it has the most useful combination of features for me.

A big chunk of that shift is the prevalence of mobile devices that use Safari. A year ago I hit a dozen or so blogs daily with Firefox. Today between the iPad and iPhone I rarely even turn my pc on.