Is there Chrome in your future?

The world of browsers for the Internet has long been a race between both OS systems and different browser clients in each.  Firefox long ago jettisoned Internet Explorer off the top of the heap, with the two now holding the one, two spots respectively in the browser share wars.  Yet a newcomer to the show is Google’s Chrome, which has quickly sped up the charts in market share to secure the 3rd spot by a mile over Safari and Opera.

How good is Chrome?  Google just unleashed Chrome 10 (seems like these numbers are used to make a product look like it has legs), a speedy, slick update to an already interesting approach to browsing.  ComputerWorld did some testing on the new speed features and it sure looks like Chrome has put its speedy competitors (Opera and Firefox) in the dust.

Yet all is not over for the denizens of Redmond.  The CW article goes on to show that IE9 could be the fastest browser ever..coming out at over FOUR times faster than other browsers in a benchmark Javascript test.  IE9 is due out this month.

But back to Chrome for now.  It is a different experience if you have never tried it and for web wonks like us here in WC, we end up having three or four browsers installed for both testing and different tasks.  I find Chrome to be quite useful to manage the department’s Google related activities, perhaps believing that a rawlings baseball is best caught by a rawlings glove with no real science behind the assumption.  But it has a great feature of remembering your browsing visually and is very fast.  One downside I see is it is hard to drop backwards quickly to pages you have visited in a session…there is no visible dropdown for this like IE and Firefox….small complaint. If you give it a try, it might just take you a while to find the tweaks and settings you are used to, but after you get comfortable with it, you will find it a sleek and pleasurable ride.

Back to browser dribble….Fairfield’s site visitors in our latest stats show up like this when it comes to browsers:

  • Internet Explorer (all versions) – 44%
  • Safari (all versions) – 28%
  • Firefox (all versions) – 18%
  • Chrome (all versions) – 8%

Of the OS and Browser stats combined (what OS and browser are external users visiting with?):

  • IE and Windows – 44%
  • Safari and Macintosh – 23%
  • Firefox and Windows – 13%
  • Chrome and Windows – 7%
  • Firefox and Macintosh – 5%

and creeping into the stats of both OS and browsers are handheld devices, each garnering about 1% of the external traffic.  What all these stats point to is our continued development of web content must be tested across all major browsers and OS systems and to keep an eye on the 1% handheld number and watch how it trends.




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