Surprise: Chrome's Users Coming From IE

In an unexpected effect, Google's Chrome browser appears to be grabbing users primarily from Internet Explorer -- and driving others toward Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

As Chrome started building up a userbase last week, American tracking company Net Applications found Microsoft's browser share dropped by 1.4 percent, to 71 percent of the total browser market, as of Friday. But where it gets particularly interesting is in the figures for the other browsers:

  • Firefox: Up 0.3 percent to 19.5
  • Safari: Up 0.4 percent to 6.7
  • Opera: Up 0.1 percent to 0.75

Most of the early predictions, understandably, speculated Chrome would pull most of its users from Firefox. As you can see, though, that appears to be anything but the case, at least from these new figures. Chrome's total percentage hovers somewhere around 1 percent of the browser market, meaning that even if all its regular users did come from IE, still more Microsoft users defected and went to other existing options.

So what's the deal? My guess is that the introduction of Chrome and the wealth of resulting media coverage comparing the browsers probably heightened awareness that hey, you don't have to use this program that came with your Windows system. It'd be enlightening to get some research into how many of the users who jumped ship from IE had never used anything but IE before. My suspicion is that it'd be a fairly high amount.

In that respect, regardless of whether you love Chrome or hate it, its presence can be deemed a success. Maybe it takes a ubiquitous name like Google to open the general, non-computer-savvy public's eyes to the less obvious options that exist. Granted, we're only talking a couple of percentage points here -- but it's a start.