Friday, December 18, 2009

Google wraps up Chrome for Xmas

Internet search giant Google is attempting to promote its Chrome browser by offering it as a Christmas present! The service is essentially an e-card, allowing the sender to enter a recipient's e-mail address, and attach a photo or video. The idea is that people might send it to friends and relatives, who may be unaware of the range of existing alternative browsers. "If you're looking for gift ideas, why not wrap up Google Chrome with one of our shiny themes and give the gift of super-fast browsing? Google Chrome is so simple to use, even your granny will love it", Google says.
Since its launch last year Google Chrome has failed to take a significant share of the browser market. Less than 5% of Internet users currently browse with Chrome despite its speed, especially when compared to Internet Explorer and Firefox. However Chrome is the fast growing browser and has crept up slightly in the last few weeks to third place in the browser wars. NetApplications' measurements of browser usage share, which track which browsers individuals use based on visits to the company's network of Web sites, gave Chrome the third-place spot after Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox for the week ending 12th December. According to a Computerworld story published on Tuesday, Chrome had a 4.4% share compared to Safari's 4.37%.

Even though 0.03 percentage points still is a lot of people in the real world, it is a small fraction. Weekly statistics also vary considerably. Although Firefox cleared 25% share in one week of November, it averaged only 24.72% for the overall month. Regardless of the precise details the Chrome trajectory is upward. Its November usage share was 3.93% to Safari's 4.36%. And although Google has relied on word of mouth for promoting its original online search product, its active role in promoting Chrome as a Christmas present may find new users if not more fans. The e-card can be accessed from though by late afternoon in China site appeared inaccessible. Sending Christmas greetings with the help of Google is evidently too subversive for authorities here to allow.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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