Which browsers are superior to Google Chrome

The "browser wars" are over: Chrome has won

IT giant Google is planning changes to its Chrome browser. This should no longer clearly identify itself to websites, but only by means of "user agent hints". Instead of the browser revealing its core data (version, HTML engine, operating system, etc.) on its own, websites will have to "request" these in the future. With their settings, users should have a say in which of the data is then disclosed. This promises greater protection of your privacy. The feature was introduced for the first time in the beta version of Chrome 84 and can be activated optionally. It will not be added to the Chromium open source base until next year so that feedback can be evaluated beforehand.

But it is already clear now: It will make the survey of browser market shares much more difficult. Netmarketshare, one of the best known sources of such information, has now responded and stopped its surveys. The analysis for October is the last to be delivered. For the so-called "browser wars", however, this is no longer significant - because Chrome has already won them.

Chrome unreachable up front

The Google browser has dominated the charts for years with no prospect of a trend reversal. According to Netmarketshare, it already recorded a user share of over 65 percent among desktop users in November 2018. Two years later, this is now around 70 percent.

The only relevant development that could be observed during this period is the slow decline in Firefox usage. Mozilla's browser, which once made a significant contribution to breaking the de facto monopoly of Internet Explorer, has crashed from ten to seven percent in these two years. And, as the irony of the story goes, it has now been overtaken by Microsoft Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer, which is now based on the same foundation (Chromium) as Chrome. Mozilla had sharply criticized the departure from its own code base and the Edge HTML renderer as a loss of diversity for the Internet. Mozilla's gecko is the last relevant alternative.

No serious competition in sight

It is currently not foreseeable that the situation will change in the long term. Again and again, new, privacy-focused browsers such as Brave, often combined with anti-Google tenor, briefly moved into the spotlight. And while they usually build a small, loyal following, they haven't been able to capture any relevant market share.

Apple's Safari browser is also not a competitor. It has a market share of around 3.5 percent and is thus significantly below the proportion of desktop users who use Mac OS - the only operating system (apart from iOS) for which the software is available . There was once also a Windows edition, but Apple stopped maintaining and further developing it with version 5.1.7 in 2012.

It is therefore up to Microsoft and Mozilla to ensure more diversity in the browser market. The starting position is dreary, however. Both currently account for almost 18 percent of the user share. And Mozilla's financial survival relies heavily on Google, which is an important part of the budget for being the default search engine in Firefox. Should serious consequences arise in the course of the US Department of Justice's proceedings against Google, this could also endanger Mozilla's existence as collateral damage. (gpi, November 2nd, 2020)