The browser wars are heating up. According to statistics gathered by web analytics company StatCounter, global usage in November of Google Chrome overtook Firefox for the first time ever. The current numbers.
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"StatCounter Global Stats reports that in December, Firefox took 38.11% of European market share, compared to IE's 37.52%." Meanwhile Chrome's grown to 14.58%, though we wouldn't be surprised to see Chrome steal some market share from both IE and Firefox by the same time next year.
Both browser platforms have their ardent supporters, but in many feature areas the latest releases of Internet Explorer and Firefox (easily the two most popular browser choices amongst Lifehacker readers) are pretty much even. But there's one weird area where Microsoft lags behind: error messages.
Yesterday's announcement of the new Google Chrome Beta brought with it some good news for Firefox extension lovers eager to move to Chrome: A first glimpse of extension compatibility.
The Chrome Developer Documentation has released a guide to creating and installing Chrome extensions in their most simple form. Right now the "extensions" aren't really much to speak of, and the process of installing an extension still seems very much like running Chrome with user scripts, but it's great to see that they're making some progress on the extensions front. As Google Operating System is quick to point out, these "extensions" are in fact "just fancy wrappers for user scripts, but there are plans to make them more useful by exposing browser features and allowing developers to create interfaces." Hit the link below for a quick guide to installing your first (not terribly useful) Chrome extension if you're eager to try it out. (The extension in the example just replaces Google's homepage logo with another picture.)
Windows only: Google Chrome has released a fresh new beta that integrates many of the features available in the nightly releases, including significant speed improvements and a few cool new features. Apart from the speed increases—which claim a 25% boost in their V8 benchmarks and 35% on Sunspider (see the graphs below for a better idea)—the new beta includes form autofill, full page zoom, autoscroll, and the snazzy tab drag feature you see in the video for breaking tabs into a side-by-side view. As I said, none of these are all that new if you've been keeping up with the latest and greatest in the nightly builds, but if you prefer the slightly more stable beta build, you'll need to download the Google Chrome Channel Changer and change to the Beta channel.