Chrome taking time to shine

Google's new browser Chrome came out of beta yesterday, after 14 upgrades, but has only gained 10m users in the 100 days since it was publicly available.

There seems general agreement that it has some whizzy features and Google's terrific muscle behind it, but Chrome hasn't achieved 1% market share yet: Net Applications reckoned Chrome had 0.78% market share in September, which fell to 0.74% in October, before rising to 0.83% in November. Hardly stellar progress.

There's talk of Chrome being pre-installed on PCs, which would help, but no news yet of with which manufacturer. Firefox didn't have any such advantage, but on the plus side, pre-installation would take market share away from Internet Explorer rather than Firefox.

Firefox has managed to claw itself a 20% market share in the four years since its launch, mostly at the expense of Microsoft' Internet Explorer, and has to be downloaded.

And of course, Chrome only works on Windows, although Google is thought to be working on a version for Mac.

Arguably the biggest opportunity of all though is mobile, where no single browser dominates and internet access via mobile is soaring. Whoever produces the first truly compelling mobile browser will probably enjoy huge benefits as people move to the same one on their PC to get the same look and feel whichever internet access method they use.