It’s 2020, is desktop browser important? The answer is: important, and very important. After all, as long as you use your computer to surf the Internet, you can’t avoid using a desktop browser, which is actually so indispensable that it is often overlooked like air. Not only that, in the field of desktop browsers, there is still smoke, the after-effects, but also cause new concerns.
After all, the entire desktop browser space is basically Google Chrome.
Google has dominated desktop browsers
Google Chrome accounted for 69.81 percent of the global desktop browser market in May 2020, nearly 70 percent, according to the latest research by NetMarketShare, a market research firm.
This means that around the world, almost 7 out of 10 PC users are using Google Chrome.
In addition to Google Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge browser came in second with 7.86 percent and Firefox 7.23 percent.
In addition to all three, the rest is under 5%, even including the Safari browser that comes with Apple macOS, which is only 3.9%.
As you can see, Google Chrome has become the undisputed king of desktop browsers.
Not only that, but if you look at the underlying technology, Chrome is a commercial browser that is based on the Chromium open source browser kernel platform, and microsoft Edge, QQ, Sogou, and more are based on the Chromium kernel.
From this perspective, desktop browsers based on the Chromium kernel have a combined market share of more than 80% worldwide. What’s more, Chromium itself is Google-led and open-source to the world.
This means that the underlying technology and standards of the entire human desktop browser have been dominated by an American business company, Google.
Not only that, but because of the close connection between desktop browsers and Web pages, the technology direction of the entire web page is actually subject to Google’s technology and standard choices — and, to some extent, Google is also dominating the future of the Web.
This is a great honor for Google and an important support for its strong technical strength and influence.
Chrome as a “Dragon Butcher”
Google Chrome was a “dragon-butcher” before it gained its status today.
This dragon, Microsoft’s once-dominant IE browser, was the dominant IE browser for a while; it had a fierce browser war in the 1990s and used a variety of disgraceful tactics to gain dominance, one of which was the bundling of the Windows operating system.
So how brilliant was IE then?
Since its victory over Netscape browsers in late 1998, IE has dominated and dominated the entire browser market. According to OneStat.com, IE’s market share was 96.6% by April 2002 – the peak of IE.
Later, IE experienced a significant decline in market share, driven by its own problems and competitors such as Firefox, and over the next four or five years, Firefox began to erode IE’s market share, at one point exceeding 10%.
By the time Chrome began testing 2008, Firefox’s share was between 15 and 20 percent, but IE still had a share of nearly 80 percent, and while it was a continuous decline, it was still dominant.
That’s when Google Chrome came out of the world and became the real enemy of IE.
At first, within Google, the browser was opposed by then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, but he eventually followed the advice of Google’s two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
It’s worth noting that the development of Chrome was led by Sundar Pichai, today’s Alphabet CEO and Google CEO.
Chrome officially opened its test in September 2008 and was available for download in more than 100 countries – just days after the IE 8 Beta 2 release, Firefox 3.0 was released nearly three months later and won the Guinness Book of World Records.
But soon, Chrome showed the strength to challenge its opponents.
“Three Kingdoms Killing” in the field of browsers
Yes, there was a “three-country kill” in the desktop browser space, with Google Chrome, Microsoft’s IE and Firefox.
But one of the bright-eyed characters is Google Chrome.
From today’s perspective, Chrome is almost a re-invention of the browser;
For example, the top of the tag bar, the search bar and the address bar into one, a highly minimalist interface design, for developers of the extension store, bookmarks can be synced in the cloud through Google account … The emergence of this series of features has improved people’s web browsing experience.
And more importantly, while maintaining rapid iterations, Google has also devised a highly effective development model that divides Chrome into stable versions, which are used to meet the average user, and the development version, which allows developers to update and test features to meet the needs of different types of users.
As a result, Chrome is popular, supported by Google’s deep Internet genes and strong technology background, especially for developers who like to pursue new technologies.
At the end of 2010, Chrome gained 10% of the market share more than two years after its launch. “At the same time, IE’s market share continued to decline, below 60%, while Firefox remained at around 20%.”
The entire browser market has been a “three-way” situation with IE, Firefox and Chrome.
Of course IE and FireFox are both improving and learning from competitors, especially Google Chrome, in many ways, but Chrome is like a young runner, catching up and overtaking your competitors in the fast-moving process.
But one of the more fortunate things about Chrome is that it meets the tide of the mobile Internet.
Even Microsoft chose Chromium.
Chrome is lucky because it’s Google, which has Android behind it.
The period from late 2010 to early 2016 was a time when Android was growing rapidly and dominating the mobile operating system, and it was also the time for Chrome to grow.
During this time, Chrome’s market share has steadily increased on its original base, while Internet Explorer continued to decline steadily, while Firefox hovered between 10% and 20%, and then showed a downward trend.
According to Net Applications, IE’s share fell to 48.57 percent in the global browser market in December 2015, While Chrome continued to rise to 32.33 percent, while Firefox fell to 12.13 percent.
It’s hard to spell out exactly how and to what extent the mobile Internet boom has affected the desktop browser market over the past five years, but Chrome is undoubtedly a huge beneficiary.
Simply put, Chrome continues to appeal to more users with a unified experience across multiple endpoints such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Microsoft, on the other hand, is severely out of place in the mobile Internet boom, with IE isolated and marginalized in 2015 with the release of Windows 10 and Edge.
Since then, Chrome has been on the path to market share growth.
According to NetMarketShare, Google Chrome’s market share grew from 48.65 percent to 59.36 percent between June 2016 and June 2017, while IE decreased from 31.65 percent to 17.55 percent, with The Edge browser’s share being just single digits.
By this time, Chrome was already half way through, and Microsoft’s IE was already the yellow flower of tomorrow – but Microsoft didn’t want to give up entirely, and it had hope for Edge.
By December 2018, however, Microsoft had been impatient to announce that it would build an Edge browser based on Google’s previous open source project, Chromium, which meant that Microsoft essentially abandoned its battle with Google in the desktop browser space and recognized Google Chrome’s position as a browser leader.
For more than a year, Chromium-based Edge browser was officially launched, with a slightly higher market share than before, but also in single digits.
Today, Google Chrome has a market share of about 9 times that of Microsoft Edge.
Chrome raises new concerns
The dragon-butchers of the past have now become dragons.
Google Chrome is one such “dragon” that it is still one of the best-used desktop browsers, but it has also gradually gained a reputation for “eating memory” and tracking privacy, and has become a bit bloated in its functions.
With the desktop browser war long over, there may not be anyone challenging Google Chrome’s dominance of desktop browsers, but there will be concerns.
For example, after Edge browser announced the adoption of Chromium, Mozilla, the operator behind Firefox, argued that Goolge Chrome was not a good thing, adding only to Mozilla’s importance as the only independent option – and it also claimed that it did not feel that Google’s web presence should be the only option for consumers.
Mozilla also announced that it would fight for a truly open Web through Firefox.
And technology writer Alex Danco agrees that Chrome is a monopoly business that should be spun off by Google, giving it the ability to influence the way all web browsing works, far beyond what most people realize.
The authors say:
Chrome has quietly changed an important part of the way the web works, with almost infinite access to a real technology monopoly that is not as out of reach as we might imagine Google search ads.
Another author, Blair, has also argued that the biggest technology monopoly is probably one of the most common things in the modern Internet experience, namely, your web browser and its most likely source, Google.
Chrome is a monopoly product, and under the existing Google product policy, it’s hard to say whether it’s a good or a bad thing.
In addition, Google has a special feature: it is a rare Google-owned product that is still accessible to the Chinese market (although it also features partial lysing) and has a strong market position.
Chrome is also a spectacle, given the long-standing absence of Google’s main business in the Chinese market.