I have a funny relationship with Apple’s Safari web browser. There are a number of reasons why I love it: I’ve used it for so long it’s more familiar than any other browser; it syncs my MobileMe bookmarks seamlessly; and it has some awesome new features, such as Reading List and full-screen mode.

Google-Chrome-logoHowever, there are other times when I despise it. Like when it randomly decides to refresh my tabs as I switch between them and I lose half the story I’ve been working on for the last 15 minutes; or its inability to work under pressure when I load more than one Flash video. When Safari and I fall out, I have a trusted friend just waiting to take its place: Google’s Chrome.

And it seems my love for Chrome is shared with many other Brits, with Google’s browser having just overtaken Firefox to become Britain’s second most popular browser. According to data collected by analytics service StatCounter, Chrome now holds 22.12% of the browser market in Britain — narrowly beating Firefox which holds 21.65%.

To my bemusement, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer takes the top spot, with a whopping 45.41% share — that’s more than double the share held by Chrome! Internet Explorer did drop one percent between June and July, but it continues to command the top spot for the time being.

Worldwide, Chrome continues to hold third position while it bites at the heels of Internet Explorer and Firefox. It increased its market share by around 2% between June and July to achieve a 22.14% share worldwide; while Internet Explorer and Firefox lost around 1% each to achieve 42.45% and 27.95% respectively.

StatCounter browser stats June July 2011

Chrome’s increasing popularity, according to The Next Web, could be thanks to its heartfelt television advertising campaign here in the U.K. which has received considerable praise. The launch of Google’s new social network, Google+, is also thought to have promoted Chrome to more users.

What’s your favorite web browser and why?

[via The Next Web]