Are IE Users Really Jumping To Chrome?

from the seems-hard-to-believe dept

On the day that Google's Chrome browser launched I saw a few reports claiming that it already had jumped to somewhere between 2 and 3% of the market. Those numbers seemed ridiculously high for a first day launch of a new piece of software -- especially in a market where the majority of people still use the browser that came included with their operating system, and have not chosen to download and use an alternative like Firefox. While some more recent stats suggest both lower penetration, and that Chrome got a first day bump that seems to now be going away, another study suggests that most of the Chrome marketshare actually came from Internet Explorer users, rather than Firefox or Opera. In fact, the report found that all of the market share difference came from IE. That seems hard to believe. I would imagine that the folks most likely to download and use Chrome are those who are already comfortable with downloading and using an alternative browser. So, can anyone explain these results?

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  1. identicon
    John, 10 Sep 2008 @ 5:31pm

    To me, it makes sense.

    Well, there are some good features to Chrome, but it's missing the extendability that Firefox has with it's extensions. While Firefox users are, on average, savvy enough to install and use a new browser, Chrome isn't for them, because it doesn't have the features Firefox users come to expect (like AdBlock).

    And Opera itself is a great browser, but it's market share is so small that almost everyone using it is a dedicated Opera fan, because they went out of their way to install a browser that wasn't mainstream, and wasn't getting the attention Firefox gets. However, it's very easy in Opera to change the user agent setting to make the browser appear to be IE, and there's potential that there are Opera users that did that, so website analytics show up that an IE user changed to Chrome, even tho it was an Opera user who changed to Chrome.

    And finally, even though a majority of IE users are either a) in a corporate environment where they can't install a new browser, or b) not tech savvy enough to use anything else other than what was pre-installed, there is a percentage of IE users who use it but are smart enough to be able to install a new program, if they want. The reason why they didn't (until Chrome), is because for whatever reason, FF or Opera didn't appeal to them (or Safari for windows for that matter, cause Safari for windows had a lot of problems).

    Chrome is lightweight, and little maintance. Firefox, with it's extensions, is very powerful, but not appealing to those who don't want to worry about all that stuff. Firefox and Chrome don't seem to be targeting the same audience (FF is very extendable, while Chrome is lightweight and just works doing it's own stuff very well). So, while FF and Opera have dedicated bases that could change, but won't, IE isn't like that.

    Then, there's also the fact it's from Google. If an IE user could switch, would they rather a browser that has the same logo as overstock.com, or one from a big big name that has an amazing online rep (don't get me wrong, I think Opera is great, but Google just has more appeal).

    So, to me, it's not that big of a stretch to say IE users were the ones to stick with Chrome, while it's initial bump was mainly from Firefox users testing it out, outa curiosity. Not all IE users are 'n00bs' , but the n00bs are the ones staying with IE, while the tech savvy 1.3% are the ones jumping ship.

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