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Safari slips behind Chrome in browser usage

updated 01:15 pm EST, Tue December 15, 2009

Figures linked to Mac, Linux Chrome betas

Usage of Google's Chrome web browser surpassed that of Apple's Safari for the first time last week, says tracking firm Net Applications. The company monitors roughly 160 million visitors to 40,000 sites, and notes that Chrome users represented 4.4 percent of the market between December 6th and the 12th. The figure was a growth of 0.4 percent over the month of November, and beat out Safari's 4.37 percent share.

"It appears that Chrome has made a substantial surge in usage market share," says Net Applications' executive VP, Vince Vizzacaro. The jump is attributed mainly to the release of Chrome betas for Mac and Linux, as opposed to just developer channel software. Growth is said to be even more pronounced when narrowing the focus to Mac OS X, as Chrome now accounts for 1.3 percent of usage on the platform, in contrast to the 0.32 percent achieved in November. Mac share is believed to have been taken "fairly equally" from Safari and Firefox.

The dominant platform for Chrome remains Windows, as its betas have been available since September 2008, and it is the only platform to have an official release. Mac parity is not expected until sometime in 2010.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Dez

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ever since Chrome was launched, it seemed like only a matter of time before Chrome overtook Safari. It seems a mindshare thing - I hardly know anyone on Windows who uses Safari, even among the Mac fraternity.

    But same difference anyway... Chrome is Webkit, so Safari benefits as sites ensure they work well with Chrome.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mac users boost?

    I have to wonder if this surge for Chrome is the result of its official release to Mac users giving it a try to see if it runs any smoother than Safari.
    I hear report after report that Safari is supposedly faster than Firefox and Chrome. But I wonder how true that is in real-world usage. My Safari regularly finds pages that bring it to a halt (especially RSS feeds).

  1. howdesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Longtime User

    I've been using Crome (and Chromium) for a few months now on my older MacBook Pro and like it better than Safari. No. 1, it "feels" faster and lighter on the processor than Safari and No. 2, I like how it handles downloading files much better. When saving attachments out of Gmail, I can easily change the location of the saved file. Those two reasons alone made me switch. It also seems a bit more stable. Firefox seems like an even bigger drain on the processor.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Mac users boost

    There has been no 'official release' of Chrome. There's the beta release, which, for Google, is about right (how long will Chrome stay in beta? 5 years?)

    And the article states that the surge was attributed to the OS X release. Though I find that hard to believe, as I can't imagine so many Mac users are so desperate to try out yet another browser.

    The interesting numbers will be next week, as Chrome falls down with all those Mac users dumping it because they realize it isn't ready for prime time as an actual browser.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you dared to read the MacWorld article linked to the above article, they actually wrote this:

    The availability of Chrome may also be the spark that finally pushes Linux's usage share above the 1 per cent mark, where it's hovered for years. During November, for instance, Linux had exactly 1 per cent of the OS share.

    That's right. Someone over at MacWorld actually thinks a beta browser from Google is what has been holding back adoption of Linux all these years.

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