Lifehacker Readers Ditching Internet Explorer For Google Chrome

It's no surprise that Lifehacker readers have taken to Google's Chrome browser in great numbers since its launch around 18 months ago. But what is surprising is that Chrome's growth appears to have come at the expense not of its most obvious competitor Firefox, but from disgruntled Internet Explorer users.

Much of the discussion of Chrome around these parts has centred on whether it can become a viable competitor to Firefox by running across multiple platforms and adding extension capability. Chrome has made great strides in all those areas, but a look at the browser usage figures from Lifehacker Australia readers suggests that many Chrome adopters have moved there not from Firefox, but from Internet Explorer.

In the month after Chrome was launched in 2008, Firefox easily dominated as the browser of choice for Lifehacker readers, accounting for 50.05% of all traffic. Internet Explorer ranked second with 32.08%, followed by Safari with 9.21% and Chrome with 5.53%.

Over the last 30 days, the figures show an interesting shift from those 2008 numbers. Firefox remains the top dog, but its share has dropped to 45.72%. Internet Explorer still ranks second, but now only accounts for 19.59% of visitors — and Chrome is nipping hard at its heels with 17.33%. Safari has also increased its share to 13.47%.

While we can't directly connect IE's decline with Chrome's growth, it's clear that Chrome is growing in popularity while Internet Explorer is proving a less popular choice. Firefox has shrunk its share slightly, but still remains well in front of any other competitors. While Apple has aggressively (that is, annoyingly) worked to bundle Safari with iTunes, I'd still presume its improved numbers reflect a growth in Mac usage more than anything else.

Obviously, Lifehacker readers aren't representative of the broader Internet population, and many readers may well be using more than one browser. (Lifehacker's audience has also grown over that period, so the total number of users for any browser hasn't necessarily declined, even if its relative market share has.) Nonetheless, the data does suggest that competition in the browser space remains fierce, and that no browser development community can afford to rest on its laurels.


    I think that it is also because most IT enviroments in companies require requests for software to be installed and they may or maynot let Firefox on even after all that. But Google Chrome installs into these enviroments without the need to contact IT due to Chromes Installation location.

    Also Since you can show someone how quick Chrome loads up and is ready to go, compated to Internet Explorer, they are happy to switch.

    There's also a good chance users are migrating from IE to Firefox at a similar rate to Firefox users migrating to Chrome.

    I've heard of a lot of people ditching Firefox for Chrome, I haven't yet, I love some of my extensions too much, but I know a lot of people have and I know heaps using Firefox as their first non-IE browser.

    This site does tend to make Chrome look like the browser of choice though so I'd imagine Lifehacker readers who were still using IE would be jumping right to Chrome unlike all the people going to Firefox.

    Interesting article, but I think it's also important to mention that it's not all out war between the browser developers. Mitchell Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation has said that she doesn't see Firefox and Chrome as competitors but instead she sees two organisations striving for better user experience on the web. Whether or not this altruism is realistic, especially given the large amount of money that Google pays to Mozilla, I think the important message is that users become aware of what a browser is and learn that there are alternatives to Internet Explorer.

    I'm sorry to sound bitchy, but really? you couldn't have come up with a better graph than that?


        I kind of like the graph. There's nothing like a bit of mystery when it comes to diagrams on the web. 45.72, baby!

      Haha .. where are the labels!

    Chrome is brilliant in its low-memory usage (great for my Eeepc) but Opera is still the smoothest browser. Chrome's middle click scroll is grindingly chunky compared to it.

    Hopefully once it ditches the Safari inner workings it'll improve.

    So, how many user's are using Opera LH ?

    I am now using Safari but only because I switched to Mac OS X!

    While I love Chrome on Windows, it looks a little out of place on the Mac and doesn't offer a huge speed improvement (Safari 4 is blazingly fast).

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