In 2008, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser accounted for almost 60% of the global browser market, followed by Mozilla’s Firefox, which accounted for about a third of the market, and Chrome, which debuted on September 2 of that year. 0.3% market share. Eleven years later, Chrome is the number one browser market, with a market share of nearly 70%. How did Google move Chrome from zero to a whole new territory over the years?
Hiten Shah, co-founder of document management tool FYI, combed Chrome’s evolution from 2008 to the present, suggesting that Google was “fundamentally redesigning the browser” to achieve it all. “Google started by looking at Chrome as a platform, not just a way to view the web,” he says. Hiten then explores the following:
Why is Chrome’s primarise being developers, not regular Internet users?
How can Google greatly expand its Chrome user base in a short period of time in a highly competitive market?
How can Chrome help Google make a bigger impact on the broader Internet trend?
The outlook for the Internet has changed dramatically since 2008, when the way people use it has changed, and Google has seized the opportunity to create a brand new operating system for an open Web and take advantage of the limitations of Internet Explorer.
2008-2013: Rethinking the Browser
In 2008, less than a year after the iPhone went on sale, Windows 7 was just a few months old, Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s offer, and IE became the world’s most popular browser. Not only from a hardware perspective, but also from a hardware perspective, the consumer-centric technology ecosystem has also changed dramatically. The iPhone was the catalyst for the entry of applications into the mainstream, but at the time, web pages were still the primary way most people interact online.
The network is changing rapidly, but the browser is not much changed. To a large extent, the experience with IE browsers in 2008 was much the same as in 1998. Realizing that something new should emerge in the web 2.0 era, Google quickly seized the opportunity to launch the beta version of Chrome on September 2, 2008.
Google rethinkd the whole concept of the browser and adopted an open approach to Microsoft’s, opening the Chrome project from the start. By July 2009, just nine months after its official launch, more than 30 million people had used Chrome to browse the web. In the same period, Google launched Chrome OS. Shortly after December 2009, Chrome had an extended library, which was a very avant-garde concept at the time.
In 2010, Chrome experienced a period of amazing growth, from 40 million users at the beginning of the year to 120 million at the end of the year. Market share also increased from 5% at the end of 2009 to 15% at the end of 2010. During the year, the more sophisticated and large Chrome Online App Store replaced the previous library of extensions that pioneered a new wave of software products and dramatically changed the way the Internet works.
The following year, in 2011, Chrome’s 3D logo changed to a more popular, simpler graphic design. Google went a step further on Chrome OS, introducing the Chromebook as “the future of lightweight, portable computing.” In October 2011, Chrome had a new feature that other browsers would be racing to emulate, the “new tab”, which tab browsing could be revolutionary, allowing people to truly multitask online. Chrome is therefore more like a real app.
Google’s next step is to expand Chrome beyond Windows. In February 2012, the Android version of Chrome was released. In June, the iOS version of Chrome was also released. So far, the number of active Chrome users worldwide has nearly doubled from 160 million in June 2011 to 310 million in June 2012. In the summer of 2012, Chrome’s market share reached 31%.
The next major development was in September 2013, when Google announced the launch of the Chrome app. They’re lightweight apps that run in Chrome, can be used offline, interact with external devices, have access to on-premises and cloud files, and can automatically sync across multiple devices. All of this brings Chrome one step closer to a true computing platform.
2014-present: Win the browser battle
Google got a very good place with Chrome in early 2014. Chrome accounted for about 40% of the browser market at the time, an increase of 155 percent in just five years. More than 310 million people use Chrome as their primary browser.
The first big move in 2014 was to launch the Chrome app on mobile devices. In March, Google made some important changes to the way Chrome app developers monetize their products. Because Google is well aware that the extensions and third-party ecosystems built around Chrome are an important part of the future of the product, developers must be better off.
At the annual I/O Developer Conference in May 2015, Google confirmed that there were more than 1 billion Chrome users at the time. This year has also been extremely important for extensions, and other browsers are finally starting to take their extensions seriously. In the same year, Microsoft confirmed that Edge would become the default browser for Windows 10 and decided to end support for IE, and Mozilla announced that it would release a new API called WebExtensions for extended developers, making it easier to develop attachments for multiple browsers.
Until then, Google has been largely independent of Android and Chrome OS. In May 2016, Google announced that the Google Play Store for Android apps would also be available to run on Chrome OS. That way, many apps are compatible with Chromebooks through the Google Play Store. A few months later, Google announced plans to migrate chrome apps hosted on Chrome OS to native web apps, no doubt dropping another bombshell.
By 2017, Chrome accounted for 55% of the browser market and sneaked into the corporate market at the same time. In May 2017, Google launched Chrome Enterprise Bundle. The launch of the corporate bundle is one of Google’s most aggressive moves to date in the corporate space. One of Chrome’s most popular updates came in September 2017, when Google changed the way it handles autoplay media such as interstitial video ads in its browsers, a seemingly small update called Unified Autoplay that gives users more control over their browsing experience. Users can now also selectively disable audio playback for specific sites.
The next major update came in May 2018, when Chrome began supporting Linux applications, and Google’s friendliness to developers is a glimpse, encouraging developers to continue to help refine the Chrome ecosystem. Also in May 2018, Chrome announced that it would mark all non-HTTPS pages as “unsafe” and expects to be fully available in October. September 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Chrome’s launch, with more than 2 billion active Chrome installations worldwide and about 62% of Chrome’s market share.
The popularity of Chrome means that the browser has actually become the de facto standard for Web development. In just a decade, Google has gone from being a champion of open networks to a gatekeeper of contemporary web standards. “It’s worrying that Google is using the browser and its Chromium open source base to suppress online competitors and make it good for the industry as a whole,” said Gerrit De Vynck, a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek. “Many users are also increasingly frustrated or even angry about Chrome because of privacy concerns.
Despite various privacy scandals and the development of other browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome remains firmly at the top of the list. By May 2019, Chrome had nearly 70% of the browser market.
In just a decade, Google has redesigned its browser and made it popular. In addition to creating some new revenue streams for Google, Chrome has helped google expand its already sizeable business and attract a large new audience. But while widely welcomed, Chrome’s privacy and security features have faced fierce criticism. For now, Chrome’s dominance appears to have been assured, but that could soon change if Google fails to take full advantage of the momentum it has built.
Original address: https://usefyi.com/chrome-history/