Browser

Poll: Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome?

Firefox carved out a niche as an IE alternative, but Google Chrome is stealing some of its thunder. Which of the two alternative Web browsers do prefer? Take our poll.

During the past five years Mozilla Firefox has quietly carved out a nice little niche as an alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but Google Chrome is starting to steal some of its thunder.

Firefox's share of usage in the Web browser market peaked at 24.7% in November 2009. Since then it has dropped back. It was at 23.8% in June, according to NetApplications and reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The primary culprit behind the Firefox dip is the other alternative browser -- Google Chrome. The Internet search giant launched its Chrome at the end of 2008 and it has been on a steady climb ever since. Chrome reached global market share of 7.24% in June, and it has taken that market share at the expense of both IE and Firefox, as you can see in the chart below (from The Wall Street Journal).

The rise of Chrome could also have bigger implications for Firefox. Google was previously Mozilla's top benefactor for the Web browser, supplying engineering resources and a contract that paid Mozilla to make Google the default search engine in Firefox. Google's engineering support for Firefox has already ended and the lucrative search deal with Mozilla expires in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Web itself is preparing for a major step forward with HTML5, which will introduce powerful new capabilities that Web developers can build into their Web pages. As a result, the rise of HTML5 will likely accelerate the migration of even more applications to the Web and will make Web browsers even more important.

Yesterday, Mozilla released Firefox 4 Beta 1, with a new interface and several new features that appear to be influenced by Chrome. But, it remains to be seen whether Firefox 4 will help Mozilla maintain its Web browser market share -- especially without the backing of Google -- or if Chrome will continue to chip away.

With that in mind, it's time to ask all of you techies which of the two you prefer.

Take the poll

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

148 comments
shannonbaynet1
shannonbaynet1

I was a faithful Firefox user (and reccommended it to everyone) for YEARS. Recently it has been hanging for an excruciating amount of time, so I find myself forced to use chrome when this happens. I don't like the Chrome interface, but it seems to hang alot less these days than Firefox. WAH!!!

WSHBaker
WSHBaker

I have been a fan of Firefox for years. When I loaded version 4.1 Beta 1 on a Windows 7 Pro machine the video went crazy. Rebooted and now using Microsoft I.E.till I find something more to my liking. There are virtually no add ons or plugins for 4.1 B1.

bsictstudent
bsictstudent

hmm.. i prefer google chrome for browsing and for browser gaming in facebook. mozilla for watching videos, I can't really decide which one is better because I'm using both of them. sometimes there is some links/sites that are too slow to load up on chrome, but fast on mozilla. mozilla and chrome will be a good combination if they merge.. hehehe..

rpb_
rpb_

I like the speed of Chrome, but one thing that bugs me is that it often fails to recover tabs if it crashes or if I shut it down. I tend to keep a bunch of tabs open for things I need to read but don't have time right now. When the browser crashes I lose all my tabs. Once in a blue moon Firefox has crashes or closed and when I restart it it doesn't offer my previous tabs. But Chrome does this so regularly (opening it up and it not offering the "recently closed tabs" option, or following a crash not receiving the "open your previous tabs" facility) that I have got into the habit of bookmarking all tabs and typing in the date for the bookmark name in order to ensure that if anything happens I can get back my tabs.

shannonbaynet1
shannonbaynet1

Mozilla has been good to me and until Firefox does me wrong I will remain a faithful. Google is my start page, but my browser is Firefox! HA!

Xweera
Xweera

Sure its' Google Chrome

seymush
seymush

I have been testing firefox 4.0 beta1 lately, ff is catching up again, it is markedly faster than 3.6. The difference in startup time and speed with Chrome is becoming small.

john3347
john3347

Although it was not one of the choices, IE is far and away my browser preference. IE8 has not yet been refined to be dependable and reliable but it is the most user friendly and, if one can believe this from Microsoft, the most intuitive of the browsers I have tried. Firefox just does not work the way I work! Many items in Firefox are just too "clumsy" to work with. I have never tried Google Chrome and until such time as Google completely reverses their procedures on harvesting users' personal information, I will never use ANYTHING Google.

wjvelasquez
wjvelasquez

Google chrome is better. I use IE8 and Chrome. Firefox is now a copy of chrome. IE an Chrome are multitask, Firefox isn't.

bobglenn
bobglenn

I used Firefox for years but finally just couldn't take the bug where most of the time when I type an apostrophe that it pops me down to a search box. That bug has been there for years and they do nothing to fix it. Very annoying.

tbostwick
tbostwick

IMHO - both are nice, but for casual users, depends on how comfortable you are using a browser that uses slash commands to get to important functions: /h, /b, /t, /w - etc... the lack of clutter also can add to the mystery and intuitiveness of Chrome. On the other hand, Firefox is very user friendly, and the AddOn market and development blows Chrome out of the water any day Mozbackup and FEBE as well as Sync provide a great toolset to backup and maintain your Firefox data across multiple PC, incl. portable apps. Chrome's speed is it's forte - but FFox 4 will match it. Firefox - hands down - this is what I hear from novice and veteran users I work with.

dwdino
dwdino

After reading through the posts, I see constant references to usable screen area, page load speed, tab performance, etc. as negatives to IE. I have a completely different experience and would like to know why. I am running IE 8 on W7 64 bit. I have the top of I.E. colapsed to only the address bar and tab bar. Very thin and clean. I also experience near instant page loads. Can you describe how IE is configured to render such poor experiences? I am curious. As far as FF and GC, they just feel like toys and don't present as clean an interface as IE 8. I also like the fact that I do not have to worry about browser interaction for any of the sites I use and application plugins I enjoy.

NetComSulting
NetComSulting

by the google chrome numbers so far.Didn't realize so many used chrome.

horrocks52
horrocks52

I used to love Firefox,till I dicovered spyware in it. No wonder I was being redirected to different result pages when I did searches. Bak to good ole IE for me.

heeraSheikh
heeraSheikh

Chrome is fast, clean and bigger working area. It displays/understand any css and element inspecting is the most interesting feature which helps to fix css problems.I also like it's application mode which is really nice.

czhang.zodo
czhang.zodo

I must say, I was a huge Firefox advocate (relatively speaking...) in the past. I held out on switching to Chrome initially because of the lack of extensions. However, I recently switched to Chrome as I checked out the extensions gallery and my large (again, relatively speaking...) collection of FF add-ons for the most part had equivalents on the Google side. That combined with the much faster speed sealed the deal for me.

codybwheeler
codybwheeler

Chrome is awesome. Aside from a web app that isn't supported by it here and there, I use it for everything. Firefox otherwise. I won't touch IE with a 10 foot pole. Can't stand it.

s_georgiev
s_georgiev

Incorrect question "Between Firefox and Chome, which alternative Web browser do you prefer?" :) Why do you think that all web browsers (except IE?) are "alternative"?! This is VERY WRONG way of thinking! Maybe IE is default for you, but this is not true for everybody. Opera is also quite popular and very addictive browser, Mozilla stole many ideas when coding Firebird/Firefox from Opera.

van_helsing_80
van_helsing_80

i agree to Google Chrome's speed, but the best part is the available extensions for Mozilla Firefox. Chrome is baby in front of Firefox in that feature !

janleow
janleow

Actually I'm using both. Each has its pros and cons. FF - 3rd party toolbars, established, master passwords for security. Chrome - lightweight and fast In the end I voted for FF because of its versatility. In the future? will have to see.

Timespike
Timespike

I have both installed and use them for different things.

magic8ball
magic8ball

That logmein does not play nicely with Chrome. I like the look, feel, and speed of Chrome but the deal breaker is logmein which I use a good part of the day. Without decent support for logmein I can't use Chrome.

jdclyde
jdclyde

Sure, there are some things a little harder to control, but for the majority of my browsing I DON'T CARE. Give me something that loads quickly, and works quickly, but at the same time doesn't make me disable a large portion of it to remain reasonably secure (like you HAVE to for IE).

ibmtech
ibmtech

Unless Chrome gets the ability to print a selected area of a page, it is useless for my needs. This problem has been around since Chrome began and with thousands of requests to Google to have it rectified, nothing has been done.

Albee_Freeoneday
Albee_Freeoneday

I do not trust google to keep ANY information of mine private. So there is no way I would use Google Chrome. Google due to their policies are the new "Evil Empire"

kingcomputing
kingcomputing

I tried Chrome for a while even though I missed the Perspectives add-on that Firefox uses. Seemed OK - pretty fast etc. but then I got a message from Windows firewall that I dreaded.... When doing nothing in particular, simply navigating from Google News to a selected link, Windows Firewall gave me a prompt stating that Google Chrome wanted to send information to a particular Web address! Well, suffice it to say, I immediately uninstalled Chrome and went back to FF. I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit without any specifically opened ports in Windows firewall or my Linksys Router / firewall. I have never received one of those prompts when using FF and I hope I never will. Seems like Chrome was 'phoning home' or something. Anyway I didn't like it one bit.

Jitse Klomp
Jitse Klomp

What do you mean with alternative? Firefox is the default web browser in most/a lot of the linux distro's

petkovass
petkovass

Opera -the new operating system ,not only browser.

aneeque
aneeque

Mozilla is Hell-Slow Start UP Chrome is the lightest of all but its ShockWave/Flashplayer do crash often

jmdiazarg
jmdiazarg

Well, i think that Chrome is faster to start, has a clearer interface, is simpler to use and the combo address bar + search box is a plus, i really like that feature and i think other browsers can take this and allow to configure the prefered search engine. However Firefox still is and will be better for developers, because i think its interface it's techie oriented and because of that large community of people that develops addons.

Jaqui
Jaqui

chrome's ui is as useless as firefox and ie ui. firefox and ie both use that stupidity of message bars. [ not to forget, ie isn't cross platform so it isn't available to me. ] I'll stick with Seamonkey Suite 1.9 [ the 2.x Seamonkey introduced the stupidity of message bars, random crashes and TSR actvity. ]

tbostwick
tbostwick

On any new install of IE8, there is an additional "ton" of tweaks to get the browser to run correctly. All the protection/security stuff was added to make users feel safer. Slow to load - slow to search - addons are non-existent (except for GoogleToolbar - a must). Browsers are about speed and more importantly surfing safely - IE no longer provides this and is only the largest % because it's the default that M$ installs on new PC's - I'll take FF, Opera, Chrome on a PC/MAC anyday. In the IT world - I don't know anyone that suggests or recommends IE 8 as the default browser anymore - As to your last point, IE crashes still with Java issues (and loads much slower) and is still having terrible issues with sites utilizing older ActiveX components (that's why they built "Compatibility Mode" which only seems to reference to IE7) Lastly, what happened to IE7? it was here, then gone so quickly - and most banking and financial institutions still tell you to use IE6!!!! - If you do, then don't consult with me because that alone is one of the biggest security risks on the planet. Final point - IE is the most targeted, highest qty. of malicious threats on all levels on the internet - which on the programming end, is why folks have shifted to Unix/Linux/Apache to server their sites for years now.

alle2003
alle2003

I use IE 8 only when needed for specific things. Since Netscape Navigator was available, I have used it for Emailing, I used both IE and Net. Nav. then swiching back and forth as needed. Never seen the problems talked about with the IE being overbearing or whatever. As time went on I moved to Fire Fox then when Mozilla Thunderbird came along I switched to that for Email. Now I use Fire Fox 3.6.6 as default browser but still use IE once in a while. Even though I use FF as default I use Google Chrome leaving it to ask me if I want to set it as the default browser. GC is fast and I like that so each time I use it I click the X rather then change the default from FF. The reason: I like GC better but when I set it as default I have issues with Flash Player and lockups. Both FF and GC have their advantages depending on what I am trying to do.

edxxx
edxxx

My guess is, an installer for a "free" program did that trick. Don't do those, unless you know there ok. They can infect all browsers, mess with your windows drivers and worse.

Richard_P
Richard_P

I couldn't choose between them, they both have unique strenghts.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Unsure what you have to disable. One thing I don't touch is any toolbars. That craps slows down any browser. THey don't get installed. IE on my system loads up very fast. BTW, some of this open source /freeware stuff like to include toolbars. Which is why I always do a custom install. Then you see what will be installed. Scr?w Adobe, Sun and others who include third party toolbars.

SilentGreen
SilentGreen

That's the reason i never tried chrome or any other product from Google (Ok, except the search). I don't trust them at all. Everybody knows that they are collecting almost each data they can get. I don't know what they do with it, but i am frightened about what they COULD do with it. So i use Firefox and Opera, and i am testing some other browsers like avant, Safari, etc., but none reached these two. I can't understand why some people (friends of mine, for example) uses Gmail, also known as Googlemail... Ts!

shiny_bauble
shiny_bauble

Been with FF since 1.7 and still love it (although I have to use IE in my MS shop at work, with the SharePoint, etc). Chrome? will not use it because of the "phone home" issues; I don't trust Google anymore, and the more they advance, the more uneasy about them I feel.

Tony DeRosa
Tony DeRosa

I use Chrome for the speed and clean appearance. But the frequent Shockwave crashes are annoying. FF still very useful for development work. Only use IE when i have to... Opera has speed but I find it a little cluttered. But I like the mobile version better than Safari on my iTouch via WiFi.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Gopher or maybe Mosaic. Sorry. :-) I kid because I care.

dwdino
dwdino

but, I found a reference to a terrible third party - JAVA - and security concerns. I guess I use a browser much differently - no addons, security is my job, and run (dont' walk) from Java. I really need to see this side of the world. FF is slow and unreliable - simply scrolling a page causes screen haults. Chrome has too limited support. Anyway, thanks...

jdclyde
jdclyde

Agreed, and I decline EVERY toolbar. As for IE, ActiveX is a MAJOR security risk, as is the ability to run scripts by default.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Crome is nasty. Unsure about most recent versions [don't you think they go through many?], but about a year ago, if you blocked one IP address where it phones home, it would try another. You block that and it tries another. And so on. Why does it check - even when the browser isn't open - so often? Can't it check once a week or once a month? BTW, SharePoint 2010 is suppose to work well with Firefox and Chrome. BTW #2, Google has gone too big and I'm not impressed with their privacy setup.

Jaqui
Jaqui

lynx is the best browser. but for a graphical browser, to be able to get here since the site NAVIGATION is done with the stupidity of javascript [ navigation, no excuse for it to be javascript, literally, it's insanely stupid to use it for the menus, they are static, there is no need for the links to be generated dynamically. ] since lynx doesn't support javascript, I go with Seamonkey 1.x series and won't go with the new one.

jdclyde
jdclyde

he has graphics load turned off..... B-)

Jaqui
Jaqui

since I delete the criminal list of CAs that a browser ships with, every page load everywhere puts a message bar up. page content jump around enough with the stupidity of javascript / ajax for layout and content, the browsers shouldn't contribute o it with a message bar instead of a modal message box. users won't ead the message bars any more than they read the message boxes, but at least the boxes don't shift page content around.

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