Google's Chrome Browser Doubles to Over 300 Million Users

By | Jul 6, 2012

Google announced at its annual I/O developer conference that its Chrome browser how has more than 310 million users worldwide. Since its release in 2008, Chrome has exploded from its comic book-like introduction to surpass all other products, including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which it first overtook in March 2012.

Chrome runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and of course, Google Android. The company has also released a version for Apple's popular IOS-based systems. Both the Chrome and the Chrome OS operating system are part of Google's open source software effort, called the Chromium project.

According to an InformationWeek article, Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chromium and Apps, announced that Chrome grew from 70 million users two years ago to 160 million users last year, making it, "the most popular browser in the world globally." The unprecedented success of Chrome flies in the face of executive chairman Eric Schmidt's initial resistance to the product. He wanted to avoid the "bruising browser wars." In 2006, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page had developers create a demo version of Chrome. "It was so good that it essentially forced me to change my mind," Schmidt later remarked.

Chromium Browsers and Operating Systems Well Suited for Midsize Organizations

Google's vision for Chromium is to develop lightweight, fast, and secure methods to reach the internet and run cloud-based computers. The success of Chrome is impressive. Its operating system companion, Chrome OS, continues to make inroads. The cloud-based nature of notebooks, called Chromebooks, which run on Chrome OS, are still in a state of scaling and development. But Chrome OS can be used as the operating system upgrade or replacement for existing computers and can also extend the usefulness and life of some lower-power computers.

For midsize business and IT organizations, Chrome and Chrome OS are worth testing and consideration for business use. Google's design criteria--light, fast, secure, and always current--have proven to be the right blend for browsers. There is value in that design for both browsers and operating systems.

Marketplace resistance to Chrome OS has been due to the need for persistent connectivity. For home and mobile users, persistent connectivity can be a challenge. But for business users, persistent connectivity is not a concern. It's also worth noting that Pichai's responsibility includes both Chromium and Apps. Google Apps products continue to increase in popularity due to their attractive design, mobile readiness, speed, and cost.

Whether Chrome OS achieves the same popularity and market share as Chrome remains to be seen. But Google has demonstrated with Chrome that it is a worthy competitor to Microsoft's dominance at the desktop. Google has shown a willingness to admit when it is wrong and change, as Schmidt can attest, and it is willing to make the necessary long-term investments required for success.

Chrome and Chrome OS might be good choices for many midsize businesses. Keeping the business secure continues to be a concern for midsize organizations. The "always updated" nature of Chromium products helps reduce support costs and security worries. Secure, high-speed, well-featured products translate to fewer support calls and generally lower burdens for IT support and admin teams. Those combined factors should be motivation enough to give them consideration for your midsize organization.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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