February 03, 2010, 1:31 PM — The latest browser market share numbers are out and, judging by the headlines, Google is crushing the competition with the Chrome Web browser. Chrome is "on a roll", or even "skyrocketing" depending on the source.
You may be surprised to find that, behind the hyperbole, Chrome is the third place Web browser with a meager 5.2 percent market share. Chrome has only about one-fifth the market share of second place Firefox, and a miniscule one-tenth of the still-dominant Internet Explorer.
I am not sure that 5.2 percent and "skyrocketing" really go together. Chrome "jumped" almost six-tenths of a percentage point--a whopping six-hundredths of a percentage point more than the drop experienced by Internet Explorer.
Wait. Perhaps that is a tad premature. At the rate of a six-hundredths of a percent gain each month, Chrome will pass Internet Explorer....carry the three...divide by the co-efficient--never mind. It will be a long, long, long time--like after I'm dead and buried.
But, here's the real question: who cares?? Honestly. The browser wars are the technology equivalent of following celebrity stories in the tabloids, or worrying about who will take home the Grammy award for "best female artist". It captures headlines and makes for some passionate debate around the water cooler, yet matters not one iota in the real world.
From the perspective of the vendors making the browsers, the only thing really at stake is bragging rights. The software is distributed for free. There is no profit motive to the browser wars. Winning the browser wars is, at best, a hollow victory.