The news that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is turning its Chrome browser into a full blown linux-based operating system for netbooks has the tech industry buzzing. There's so much to like about this story; Google vs Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google vs Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the rise of netbooks, the browser as an OS, freeconomics at work in the OS market, etc, etc.
I'm not going to add much to the discussion, particularly almost a full day after the news hit and literally hundreds of blog posts later. But I did enjoy Fake Steve Jobs' rant even though it was tongue in cheek. Fake Steve lists eight reasons why Chrome OS is "no big deal" including this one:
Point four: You also may not have noticed, but nobody uses Chrome. I mean think about it. Do you know anyone who uses Chrome? Really? And you know why nobody uses Chrome? Because Chrome is shit. Just utter, utter shit. I mean they've got all these big brains at Google and you'd think they could make a decent fucking browser. Jesus, the freetards at Mozilla can do it. But not Google. Nope. They gave it their big best effort and what did they come up with? Chrome. It's a joke.
Well that got me thinking if I knew anyone who uses Chrome, and I immediately thought of this community here at AVC. Well guess what, 9% of you all use Chrome. Chrome comes in fourth in this community after Firefox at roughly 50%, IE and Safari basically tied at 18%, and Chrome almost gets double digits. Here's the exact numbers for the past 30 days (click to enlarge):
Of course these numbers come from Google Analytics, but I trust Google not to mess around with this stuff.
What's even more interesting is to go back just three years and look at what the browser market share in this community was.
IE had 63%
Firefox had 28%
Safari had 6%
So in just three years, this community's use of IE has gone from 63% to 18%, Firefox has gone from 28% to almost 50%, and Safari has tripled from 6% to 18%.
So Chrome may be under 10% right now, but in three years, it could easily be the leading browser in this community. Browsers apparently don't command that much loyalty and switching costs are low. That said, I'm not moving to Chrome unless I can take my Firefox extensions with me.