Microsoft

Poll Results 2013: Chrome overtakes Firefox as the preferred web browser

Chrome is the clear new web browser boss according to a recent TechRepublic poll. The question now is why?

In 2012, TechRepublic asked a very simple question: Given a fresh choice, which Web browser would you choose? The poll results in 2012 showed that Firefox was the most used web browser in 2012.

However, when it comes to information technology, change is inevitable, so a few weeks ago we asked the same question and discovered that Mozilla Firefox has been overtaken by Google Chrome as the preferred web browser among IT professionals on TechRepublic in 2013.

The details

Take a look at Figure A. The 2012 poll results show that over 50% of TechRepublic members preferred Firefox, with the second choice, Chrome, drawing only 20% of the state preferences.

Figure A

In 2012, Firefox was the clear leader.
Now, look at the 2013 results shown in Figure B. Chrome has surpassed Firefox as the browser of choice for TechRepublic members, jumping from 20% in 2012 to 39% in 2013.

Figure B

All hail the new browser king, Chrome.

Why did this happen?

Moving beyond the sheer numbers, I would like to discuss why this has happened. Increasingly, I have found Firefox to be a little unstable and to be a bit of a resource hog - has that been your experience? Is that one of the reasons Chrome has moved to the front of the line? What other reasons explain how Firefox has lost its top position to Chrome?

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

183 comments
Gravitywell
Gravitywell

I pretty much quit FF about three years ago.  It was taking too long to load,  started to fail in opening lots of stuff,  and just plain got annoying.  Opera became my favorite until it boogered down,  so I started with Chrome,  which I loved until I became aware of the  "security and privacy issues."  Then I discovered SRWare Iron.  Kudos to TechRepublic!  (It's basically Chrome but is more secure)  It has been Just as fast,  solid,  and trouble free.  Since it's mostly Chrome,  does that make it preferred?  I think not.  Iron's definitely my default browser!  

derloopkat
derloopkat

Highly agree! A resource hog is a soft way to describe FF. Consider the plug-in container, constant hard disk activity to keep updated an unwanted recovery database, many other useless features and processes reducing the useful life of the hardware and affecting particularly the battery. However FF is the number one in usability once you have installed the right extensions selected among an excellent variety. Unfortunately I was forced to leave FF. After trying to disable whichever new hyped FF feature by tampering on "about:config", installing FasterFox, etc, I finally gave up! If the developers want to ruin FF, I won't be able to amend it.

rjdbnet
rjdbnet

'Xactly! Whenever I use Chrome, I spend too much time bashing my mouse at things trying to find how to set something, or get rid of something, and muttering "Where the ----?" I use Chrome when some video (Flash?) won't play in FF, and sometimes it won't play in anything else, either.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

Firefox does update (automatically) in the background (or when I click on Help/About). The only time I notice it has updated is after I close it then open it later when it asks me to wait while it checks my add-ons. Yes, that can be annoying at times, but it doesn't take long. Could it be improved upon? Yes, but it's not that big a deal. I don't hate Chrome, I even use it sometimes. I'm just not fond of the interface. You use what you want, I'll use what I want. No "hating" here.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

Nice phrasing. I only use IE 9 when I can't get something to work right in Firefox or Pale Moon. And then only long enough to get what I need. Some times I use Chrome. But at least 9 works.

Steven Booth
Steven Booth

I haven't heard anyone use the term Bic pen in ages. Now if you said Kleenex I would be right there with you but Bic?

Steven Booth
Steven Booth

I remember a time when Chrome was pushed by Adobe but that was a few year back. Now (which is very frustrating in a corporate environment) it seems Adobe is pushing Anti-Malware software (McAfee I believe) which is understandable since they tend to be the new Microsoft of Malware attacks.

The_Real_BSAFH
The_Real_BSAFH

Not to use Windows if at all possible... (I'm glaring at you Netflix)

remmeler
remmeler

1. If you need a particular add on available in Firefox, then use Firefox 2, If you have one or two web sites that use Java then use Chrome that allows execution of Java on a request basis and not as a default Both Chrome and the most current IE are rated much more secure than Firefox. I have not played with Chrome that much except when I need Java, but I have played with all the others and don't see that much of a difference operationally.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

TR doesn't load any better than it did in FF, but Pale Moon has eliminated several Flash problems I was having with FF 17 and 20. Streaming audio sites load much faster for me. The import wizard pulled all my FF add-ins and toolbar configurations successfully, along with the usual bookmarks and RSS feeds..

Jillxz
Jillxz

Again. How long will it hold this position this time ? I use Chrome , but Firefox is my default browser. I love Firefox. It does what a browser is made to do. I have problems with Chrome hanging when launched. or when going to a website. It also hangs when trying to load some websites . It just stops for several seconds , then it loads. Always done this since about Chrome version 16

remmeler
remmeler

Security experts at NSS Labs, Inc., tested the five leading browsers against a sample of 754 “active and malicious” URLs (web page addresses) to see what percentage were caught by each browser’s defenses. You can read the complete NSS browser safety report, but the summary results are simple and stunning: Internet Explorer 10 - 99.96% Google Chrome 25/26 - 83.16% Safari 5 - 10.15% Firefox 19 - 9.92% Opera 12 - 1.87% Read more: http://askbobrankin.com/best_browser_for_malware_protection.html#ixzz2WPGUBH8A

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

You can avoid some of the "extras" by downloading your favorite free software from ninite.com.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

The only problem I've had with FF stopped at least 6 versions ago (in W7). It used to crash on shutdown, which meant it would lose my session data. I never had problems during actual browsing. It was twitchy on XP though. I'd have to start it twice as it would always crash on the first attempt. The weird thing is that problem never happened in my XP VMs. Once again the problem stopped about 6 versions ago. I hate the minimalist browser UIs (Chrome, default FF and IE). At least I can customise FF to get my controls back and laid out the way I want.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

Crashes are often caused by corrupt files in your FF profile. Backup your current profile and then create a new one. If the problem is solved you can transfer the important files to your new profile. This article lists the files you may want to transfer: kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Firefox

cateye217
cateye217

I can't remember the last time I had a crash and FF easily handles multiple tabs without skipping a beat. I usually have 20+ tabs open and FF is great. With Chrome if I have more than 5 open tabs, the brwoser hangs and responds really slowly...

Julian Grodzicky
Julian Grodzicky

I've been using both Chrome and Mozilla Firefox on a variety of PCs and iMacs that I work on for about the last year. Recently, if I was using Chrome, every time I went to log into a website, I would get a popup from google chrome saying "Google Chrome wants to use your confidential information stored in "login.whatever.com (Passwords not saved)" in your keychain. Do you want to allow access to this item?" with response choices "Always Allow", "Deny", or "Allow". And there's no way to get rid of it permanently, other than acquiescing to Google. Note the sneaky way of two ways of saying yes, and only one way of partially saying no. I wait for the day Google gets smart and swaps the positions of their response buttons in the popup. Uninstalling Chrome is supposed to be a bit of a nightmare, so I've just stopped using it. As far as I'm concerned, what I do on the net and the choices I make is none of Google Inc's business. They can jam their Chrome spyware up their fundament. Any else had the same problem?

tekwrite
tekwrite

I started using Chrome BECAUSE Firefox is such a HOG and takes forever to load!

remmeler
remmeler

I have casually used most of the browsers and all and all seem just about the same for basic browsing. I think Chrome is the one I use when I need Java because it lets me activate it on a one time site specific basis, although I don't need Java that often so I have to kind of figure out which browser I use for it. I find I use Firefox for the add-ons. There are several useful ones that I find that I would hate to be without.

gwvsi
gwvsi

I've never had any issues with Firefox. In fact, I spend most of my time flipping back and forth between Firefox and IE. I tried Chrome for a brief period of time and found it difficult to use. The interface was confusing to me and I found the ability to make changes in the settings area to be limiting. After all of that, I didn't see any significant improvement of speed for Chrome over Firefox, so I'm sticking with Firefox and IE.

weatherwarrior
weatherwarrior

I rate each of the browsers good on speed, but I have experienced issues with Chrome being rather slow on initial startup. I have been using Firefox since version 0.9 and I have always been happy with speed, graphics rendering and plug-in support. I slightly favor Firefox due to those reasons.

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

Open source solutions much more than commercial products: People working for the better good without thought of personal benefit -- when it goes commercial, there's always an agenda and that's to sell and sometimes to violate privacy so all Internet data can be stored in Utah (a violation of Fourth Amendment rights with nary a warrant in sight -- you might say it is unwarranted). More and more (from the comments here and elsewhere) I'm ever more suspicious of Google and will be looking seriously for alternatives. WaterFox seems to be working out just fine -- thanks again for the head's up.

localboy
localboy

It started for me when I began using chrome on my android phone and wanting all my favorites synced across to my computers. Then as I slowly got in to all the google services, I used chrome more and more. I even migrated my primary email to gmail. One browser with all my urls, email, extensions, docs, google+, etc., wherever I go, on any computer, oh and my android phone as well is why chrome is my primary browser.

hossein_g
hossein_g

I guess one reason is the chrome has integrated many google services inside.

Tony Bilbrough
Tony Bilbrough

What I find even more curious is that IE usage is on the increase. I never went down that track, doing Netscape Navigator prior to Mozilla, instead.

The_Real_BSAFH
The_Real_BSAFH

Why the snap can't I reply to posts on here with Firefox on Windows?? Works fine in Linux.

lord_beavis
lord_beavis

ow many people are going to trust Chrome, and by extension Google, with their browsing history?

pravin.wankhade
pravin.wankhade

I think only on the voting of merely some 6k+ people, it cannot be decided as it would be very small number as compared to the total number of people using browsers. So i don't agree or believe to these percentages. They dont reflect the opinion of entire internet users across the globe.

DPeek
DPeek

Chrome is lighter, and faster. I am a fan of the Fox, but not at the expense of IE long wait times and system slowness.

marcovj
marcovj

I agree with wizard57m-cnet on his easy explanation: Google is pushing very agressively Chorme. I personally have used Firefox since version 1 and I have never had any stability or resource issues, I have also used most major browsers: IE, Safari, Chorme, Opera and FF and I personally think that there are not major advantages among them, it gets down more to a personal choice. In my case besides having used FF since the beginning I feel that I am part of a community and not a zombie blindily following a corporation.

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

I note that with the various browsers, memory becomes fragmented and I also end up with "clutter" which needs to be cleared out. I also notice that the Registry needs to be reorganized fairly frequently and so I am forced to reboot at least every two days.

premiertechnologist
premiertechnologist

I'm doing development for some web pages in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery, JQuery UI. I test with FireFox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari and IE 10. IE 10 is special because under Windows 7, I have to load up Microsoft Studio to test HTML on the disk locally because I get all sorts of strange looking displays otherwise. I have FireFox as my default browser because it seems to work with all the pages I have on my disk on the PC. I also use it for Yahoo! email. I use IE 10 for MSN and to browse several vendors with which I do business. However, IE 10 does not work for jobs.boeing.com and they tell you so right on their webpage. I use Google Chrome for Google email and for Google Search. I generally steer clear of Opera and Safari. Opera doesn't work with CSS3 and JQuery with the stuff I write that works with all the other browsers I try. Something is off. Safari is not going anywhere on Windows and seems to be stuck in time. Safari is OK and does most stuff well for HTML5 but has no SVG capabilities, which, if I use it, everything works on all the other browsers I have, but you don't see a thing on Safari. I note that FireFox doesn't play well with Google Mail, but you'd expect that. Google Chrome doesn't work well with some websites. I don't know what the problem is but I can't log on to Manning Publications for to access books I purchased there. Some other websites have problems in that regard. I also note that BitDefender (and occasionally Webroot Secure with some shouts from MalwareBytes) gives a shout in Google whereas they don't with the other browsers. I'm thinking that Google has some malicious crapware associated with it. Thanks guys, for the heads up on WaterFox -- I've downloaded it and I'll see if I like it better than nightly. I did try PaleMoon, but it just didn't work for some things. Now IE10 at least has 64 bit mode and (as I understand it) so does Nightly, but Google seems like it will never be more than 32 bit and that is just not acceptable (from time to time the Google Email advance interface stops working for no particularly good reason and I have to switch to classic mode). Sometimes BitDefender sets things so Google doesn't work at all, I have to deep scan to remove the malware and reboot to bring it back. IF IE10 would work on Windows 7 64 bit, I think we'd have a winner, but for now, mostly I use FireFox except for Google email and searches and IE10 for MSN and other limited things. I'll see how things work with WaterFox, again, thanks for the head's up. Oh, yeah, for secure access without frills, I use the TOR browser.

jvhulst
jvhulst

Unstable? No. Resource hog? YES. Several times a week Windows 7 advises me to shut down software to prevent data loss and the software that is going to be shut down is always: Firefox! Yet it is still my main browser. I'm used to it....

seanjones21
seanjones21

The automatic updates are enough to make me cringe at Firefox and IE. They refuse to entertain the idea of updates in the background. You still have to search out the update link and run the installer. Fine for us pros, but what about the regular folks that we inevitably have to help when things go horribly wrong. Chrome updates automatically, as long as you close it out once in a while. This should be enough for all of us to jump on the bandwagon, but fanboys unite, as always, behind failed ecosystems such as Firefox. They can fix Firefox, sure, but until they do, Chrome or Opera is the way to go

BruceAnd
BruceAnd

ALL of my customers that end up with Chrome on their machines say they don't know how it got there, hate it, and don't know how to get rid of it. So I happily solve that problem. All these places that force spam on people should be outlawed. Many companies are removing Java from their programming so their customers can dump Java too.

tentaro
tentaro

honestly the sync system they use is extremely complicated and rarely works more than once. With Chrome, all I have to do is download the browser and log in and all my bookmarks are transferred from the cloud to my Kubuntu build (dual boot PC),my phone or my tablet. It would take me 20 mins just to type in the strange code Firefox gives you to sync..... if they fix that I would gladly go back.

sar10538
sar10538

Chrome is fine for a couple of open tabs but it all goes down the toilet when your a power user and have a LOT of tabs open all the time. I just saved all my tabs, 166, in Firefox to a bookmarks folder and then imported them into Chrome. I then opened all those tabs in one window and the first thing I noticed was that it tries to cram all the tabs into the window at once. This made it impossible to know what each tab was linked to and in addition 166 tabs would not fit into the width of a high res widescreen window so the overflow must have spilled into never-never land as I could not scroll to them so they were lost to me. 166 tabs is quite small for me and I frequently have over 300 open in Firefox which copes with these fine without crashing as suggested (but then I'm talking about running this under Linux). As far as I'm concerned Chrome is still a toy browser.

Britisch
Britisch

From a technical standpoint and as a web developer, I prefer Chrome because it has excellent developer tools either built-in or available as addons. In the real world, I use Firefox because it seems to have a better font rendering engine and personally, I'm not thrilled with Google's cozy relationship with the federal government. Nobody from Firefox made it to Bilderberg 2013 (that I know of), and Internet Explorer is hardly worth the honorable mention. But I do agree, Chrome is admittedly the fastest, most stable browser out there.

psmithers
psmithers

I choose to avoid any vendor that forces itself on to unsuspecting computers and makes itself the default browser as Chrome does through other vendors updates as "companion" software. How do they get away with it? Imagine the clamor if Microsoft did that!

jonweinstein80
jonweinstein80

Firefox has some advantages, but is a total memory hog when you get past 15 tabs or so, Chrome is more lightweight but has some sites that just wont work with it..., sadly there are some sites that only work with IE (the bastards)

w3techie
w3techie

A better version of Firefox is Waterfox. It is an open-source, lightweight, more stable version of Firefox, compatible with most of the add-ons and themes for Firefox. A more useful version of Chrome is Torch, a derivative of Chrome capable of downloading torrents and media files embedded on web pages.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Like TechRepublic ;-) You and I may have liked my phrasing, but apparently someone took offense. I can't find it around here anymore. Ah, well; if I really wanted it permanently displayed, I should have set up my own web site.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Walls of Bic pens...they don't advertise any more, but they sell the h3ll out of'em.

adornoe
adornoe

There are studies and reports which show that, your "Microsoft of Malware" attack is completely off base. Microsoft now has an OS which has its own anti-malware software, and MS also has the leading anti-malware browser with IE. Yeah, I know that, you were just trying to be cute and a part of the crowd which likes to attack Microsoft for anything, but, the reality is that, your malware comments are at least 10 years old. Try to keep up, or you'll remain as clueless as you demonstrate to be right now.

rjdbnet
rjdbnet

I, too, want controls where I want them. A browser without Zoom buttons in the menu is junk. I will twitch my mouse to the menu, but I am not about to lug my hairy arms to the keyboard to type CTRL-- or CTRL-+ to zoom. I use Waterfox now. I can't tell whether it's nicer than FF.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Open source doesn't imply there's no financial gain involved. Look at Red Hat.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You can either roll FF back to version 17 (the last one that successfully worked with TR); or right-click the Reply, Flag, etc. and open in a new tab; or settle for another browser. IE works here; Pale Moon doesn't; I can't address SeaMonkey or Chrome.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Memory leaks seem to be pretty common for browsers, but I've never heard of them causing recurring registry problems. You might want to try using each browser exclusively for a week to see if you can pin down which one is causing the problem, but I suspect you'll find that some other class of applications is the source.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

All of your points are valid, but that's why Steven referred to Adobe as the 'NEW Microsoft of Malware" (my caps for emphasis).