Chrome Users Return to IE, Firefox

Google’s new Chrome web browser apparently has lost its charm according to statistics gathered by Net Applications.

According to the company, both Internet Explorer and Firefox lost a handful of users when the browser debut September 2. Touted as a browser that combines "a minimal design with sophisticated technology," Chrome was to make browsing the internet safer and faster than its competitors. Enticed consumers quickly flocked to Google’s download section to test-drive the new software. Google, already throned upon its mounds of cash, saw the browser scoop up almost 1.4 percent market share at its peak ; it generated a whopping 0.5 percent market share just two hours after its initial release.

But three weeks later, Chrome users are returning home to Internet Explorer and Firefox. It’s not uncommon to see consumers jump ship and try the newest product. However, Chrome users have discovered that not only is the browser still in its unpolished beta stage, but it implements an alarming keystroke collection attribute built right into the auto-suggest feature. Privacy advocates lashed out at Google, thus convincing the internet giant to anonymize all user data received through search requests beginning September 12.

"Given the concerns that have been raised about Google storing this information—and its limited potential use—we [have] decided that we will anonymize it within about 24 hours (basically, as soon as we practically can) in the two percent of Google Suggest requests we use," wrote Google’s Senior Vice President of Operations Urs Hölzle. "This will take a little time to implement, but we expect it to be in place before the end of the month."

Despite Google’s attempts to regroup, Net Applications reported on Tuesday that Internet Explorer has regained its footing with a strong 72.15 percent market share. This is good news for Bill and the Gang, as the Windows-based browser took the biggest percentile hit when Goggle’s Chrome browser hit the internet, dropping 1.4 percent and ending Chrome’s debut week with a 71 percent share.

"IE took the entire market share hit from Chrome," Net Applications’ executive vice president of marketing Vince Vizzaccaro told Computer World. "And the rest of the alternative browsers all had gains as well."

Indeed, Tuesday’s report also showed that Mozilla’s Firefox browser came in second, owning 20 percent of the market while Apple’s Safari trotted along with a meager 6.37 percent share. Strangely enough, all non-Microsoft browsers actually reported gains upon Chrome’s release.

Because Google’s Chrome browser is still in beta, it’s unfair to judge the software in its present condition. Still, one can’t help but wonder why users are returning to the old "tried but true" browsers. Time - as well as a little polishing - will tell if Chrome will rise back up in the ranks once again.

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  • Anonymous
    I still use Chrome, I really like the layout. So what if it lacks some
    features, its a google beta. The opening page is great, 9 sites you
    visit most. Chrome is quick and clean. You can't say that about IE or
    Fire Fox.
  • Flakes
    you can say that about firefox.... but chrome logs your keystrokes... why would you want a browser to do that...when you answer my question please keep in mind that i dont even store a favourites list in my browser(dont need one i can remember the address to all the sites i need)
  • Anonymous
    I believe the logging of keystrokes is the same feature as when using the google toolbar search, where the most relevant searches or visited pages come up by default for faster browsing and searching. I find this to be a GREAT feature, and if they are going to take the keylogging feature away, I hope they keep it as an OPTION so I can turn it on again. The fact that the omnibar also registers keywords from sites I have visited, so I only have to remember what the site was about to find it very quickly again is great for me who cant remember all my searches and sites I visit every day (100's) :)

    So the bottom line is, if the keystrokes makes my internet browsing faster, I'll keep it. If it's just some huge company keeping track of what I am doing, then I can live without it. Guess we'll find out after the next update... :)