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This year marks the 13th since Google Chrome was publicly released on December 11th 2008.
A couple of days prior to Chrome’s launch, a blog post titled “A fresh take on the browser” was released and explained that Google were releasing this new browser as they believed they could “add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.” There was also a web comic from Google to mark their first web browser.
At the time that Google Chrome was debuted there were only two mass marketed competitors, Internet Explorer and Firefox, as Safari was only available on Apple products. Internet Explorer dominated with a 60% share. One of the main selling points of Chrome was the fact that it was an open-source initiative and was made available to the public via its open-source counterpart the Chromium browser. Although it was released in 2008, it was only the beta versions which were released on Windows. Mac and Linux received their stable releases in May 2010.
The benefits over the competitions stemmed from the fact that Google had more money and resources than most of its competitors. Chrome was more than just a browser for Google as they developed it with rich, interactive web applications in mind. Tab ‘sandboxing’ was also a key feature as it kept the entire browser from crashing if one website crashed. It is easy to see why Chrome is so well loved today as all this has become encompassed in an easy to use piece of software that became fully cross-platform.
Slowly but surely Chrome developed into something bigger over the years. Once it was fully cross-platform on the desktop, it was released on Android and iOS in 2012. In 2013 Google created the Blink browser engine which allowed more flexibility to add new features to Chrome. This meant that every Chromium-based browser ran the Blink browser engine too. As a result of this, more companies started to build their browser over the open-source Chromium version, most notably Microsoft’s Edge browser.
Once Chrome became more capable, Google developed Chrome OS, an entire desktop operating system. Laptops were, for the first time in Chrome history, exclusively running a Google operating system. In February 2021, ChromeOS laptops actually outranked Apple’s MacOS market share for the first time.
In my eyes, Google Chrome is the superior web browser. Even though I own and use an Apple Macbook, I rarely ever use the default web browser Safari. As soon as I got this Mac, and my Iphone, the first thing I downloaded was Google Chrome. Like me, there are over 2.65 billion internet users (as of March 2021) that use Chrome as their primary browser. Chrome has a worldwide browser market share of 64.06% compared to Safari’s 19.22% and 3.91% for Firefox. Let’s see what the future holds for Chrome and web browsing in general!
“Google Chrome: its history and rise to market domination”. Little, Luke. Nov 2021
“Google’s Chrome browser is now 10 years old”. Warren, Tom. Sep 2018
“R.I.P. Internet Explorer: Use one of these top web browsers instead”. Muchmore, Michaell. May 2021
“Google Chrome statistics for 2021”. Dean, Brian. March 2021