Browser competition has heated up in the recent past with all major browser currently having a better release. Microsoft is working out the details of IE 8 and Mozilla is polishing Firefox 3.1. These two browsers currently dominate the market share and Google’s Chrome will be looking to become relevant. Usage data for Chrome currently put the number of active users at 10 million which is barely 1% of the web surfing public.
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer leverages the Windows monopoly on desktop operating systems which means that every installation of Windows comes with Internet Explorer and of course Microsoft services like Windows Update can be used to push new versions of Internet Explorer to desktop users.
Firefox is largely credited with igniting competition in the browser space and there are those amongst the ranks of Mozilla who believe that it is Firefox that reminded Microsoft to pay attention to Internet Explorer and make improvements such as tab browsing in IE 7. Its key advantage is the large number of extensions that have been built around Firefox. There are extensions of all kinds and users have come to rely on these extensions.
The main selling point of Google Chrome is its speed and stability. Its interface is clean and simple. How this proceeds going forward will be interesting to watch since an increase in the number of users will most likely lead to requests for features which may very well include an extension mechanism. Extensions can slow down the performance of a browser and so Google has a balancing act to pull off.