Google Chrome grabs 1% of browser market – but problems emerge

Google Chrome browser has already grabbed 1% of the global browser market, just 24 hours since its release.

Google Chrome browser has already grabbed 1% of the global browser market, just 24 hours since its release.

Two data-tracking firms – US-based Net Applications and Irish vendor StatCounter – have independently estimated Chrome’s market share at around 1%, although use of Chrome climbed even higher as dusk fell in North America and techies gave Chrome a test run on their home computers after a day at work.

StatCouter chief executive Aodhan Cullen said in a blog post that the Chrome’s amazing early success would hurt the share of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox.

“This is a phenomenal performance. This is war on Microsoft but the big loser could be Firefox,” he says.

“While Google may have the Internet Explorer market share in its sights, the fact that many Firefox users are more “mobile” as far as browser use is concerned, may impact on the current Firefox market share.”

But the huge numbers of people testing Chrome are starting to uncover some problems.

Researcher Aviv Raff says he has found a flaw with the way Chrome downloads files. His blog contains a short demonstration that showing how a Google Chrome user can be lured into downloading and launching a JAR (Java Archive) file that gets executed without warning.

Privacy groups have also expressed concerns about the way Chrome sends anything typed in the browser’s Omnibox address bar back to Google.

A Google representative told CNET News this week that the company plans to store about 2% of that data and plans to store it along with the internet protocol address of the computer that typed it.

But Peter Eckersley, staff technologist at internet privacy and security organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation told CNET he is worried about the privacy implications of this move.

“We’re worried that Chrome will be another giant conveyer belt moving private information about our use of the web into Google’s data vaults. Google already knows far too much about what everybody is thinking at any given moment.”

However, there are several ways to prevent the Omnibox sending the information, including using Chrome’s “Incognito” mode.

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