Chrome Grabs 1 Percent of Market in Under 24 Hours

Google Inc.'s new Chrome browser grabbed 1 percent of the browser market in its first day out in public, Web metrics providers said today.

Both Net Applications Inc., a U.S.-based tracking company, and Irish vendor StatCounter put Chrome's total market share at around 1 percent less than 24 hours after its launch, passing rivals such as the current Opera and the ancient Netscape in the process.

"This is a phenomenal performance," said CEO Aodhan Cullen in a post to Statcounter's blog on Wednesday. StatCounter, which provides free visitor statistics tools to Web developers, monitors traffic on the sites run by its 1.5 million members.

Net Applications also tracked Chrome's debut, and echoed StatCounter's numbers. "We saw them peak at 1.48 percent last night, and they're hovering around 1 percent currently," said Vince Vizzaccaro, the company's executive vice president of marketing at Net Applications, in an e-mail Wednesday morning.

According to Net Applications, which is tracking Chrome's hourly numbers, Google's browser jumped from zero to 0.4 percent during the hour it was released yesterday. Nine hours later, at midnight EDT, Chrome accounted for 1 percent of the browsers used to visit the 40,000-some sites that the company monitors for clients.

As Vizzaccaro noted, Chrome peaked at 1.48 percent early Wednesday -- 4 a.m. EDT, 1 a.m. PDT -- and as of 11 a.m. EDT, held a 0.98 percent share.

"I'm certain usage will increase at night and on weekends, as companies won't want people testing Chrome at work," Vizzaccaro said.

Net Applications typically sees the same cyclic behavior from Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox, which jumps in share on weekends and during off-work hours.

Vizzaccaro wouldn't speculate on what browsers Google Chrome's users may be leaving. "We won't know that for a couple of weeks, as most people will test it along side of their normal browser for a while," he said.

With 1 percent of the market, Chrome immediately overtakes Opera Software ASA's Opera, which Net Applications pegged with 0.74 percent at the end of August, as well as the moribund Netscape, which the company said accounted for 0.72 percent of all browsers used last month.

AOL LLC, Netscape's owner, killed it last February when it issued the venerable browser's last update and urged users to switch to Firefox or Flock.

Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer held 72.2 percent of the browser share last month, said Net Applications earlier this week, while Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox and Apple's Safari owned 19.2 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.

Google launched Chrome Tuesday around 3 p.m. EDT. Currently, a version for Windows XP and Vista is the only one available for download. Chrome, which is built on the WebKit rendering engine -- the same open-source code used by Apple Inc.'s Safari -- features a privacy mode, a combination address-and-search bar, and runs each tab as a separate process to prevent a single site from crashing the entire browser.

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