Three years ago it was tough to imagine that Google's Chrome browser would snag a significant share of the Web surfing market. It was minimalistic before minimalistic was cool, and without support for extensions, few people took Chrome seriously. Fast forward to today and Chrome, now a hyper toddler at 3 years old, represents 15.5 percent of the browser market.
Google put together an interactive infographic with built-in HTML to pay homage to Chrome's third birthday, which also happens to show off some of what Chrome is capable of. But it's the market share numbers that tell the real story.
According to Net Applications, Chrome's share of the browser market sat at 3.2 percent in September, 2009, which is as far back as its data goes. With but a single exception in July 2010, Chrome's share has steadily climbed each and every month and reached 15.51 percent by the end of August, up more than a full percentage point from July 2011.
At this rate, Chrome could catch up with Firefox by the end of 2012, if not sooner. Even though Firefox has adopted a rapid release schedule similar to Chrome's, Mozilla's browser has slowly been declining since September, 2009, dropping from 24.03 percent to 22.57 percent in August. The same is true for Internet Explorer, which dominated the browser scene with a 66.43 percent two years ago and has since dropped to 55.31 percent.
Rounding out the list for August is Safari (4.64 percent) and Opera (1.68 percent).