According to the latest data released from Net Marketshare, the available date posted for April 2009 through Feb. 2010 shows that Chrome was the only browser to show recent growth, and it is doing so at the expense of marketshare for the other four big browsers.

Dec. 2009 Jan. 2010 Feb. 2010
Chrome 4.63% 5.22% 5.61%
Firefox 24.61% 24.43% 24.23%
Internet Explorer 63.69% 62.12% 61.58%
Opera 2.40% 2.38% 2.35%
Safari 4.46% 4.53% 4.45%

google-chrome-logoYou can see the full chart here, but as you can see from the data for the past three months, while Chrome is still only showing only a 5.61% share of the browser market, that is nearly a full percentage point higher than two months previous.

What is causing this climb?  Well, without a breakdown of Internet Explorer (IE) by version number it’s hard to say why IE has been the hardest hit at more than two full percentage points.  Could it be that people are finally retiring their copies of the much hated IE 6?  If you look at the history back to last April, the fall has been more than six percentage points, but it still commands well over half of the market.

There are other options out there, so why is it Chrome getting all of the love?  Well, considering that the browser even added extensions recently, there hasn’t been very much talk of a drop in performance, a major problem that Mozilla’s Firefox has never overcome.  The more extensions you add to it, the slower it goes, but Chrome doesn’t seem to be suffering from that problem.

Opera has been around for ages, but has never been able to get much recognition, and Safari is still predominately thought of being for Macs.

So you’re left with Chrome, which let us not forget, its full name is really Google Chrome, and the name “Google” has become synonymous with the Internet itself.  If you go on pretty much any Google page you see ads for it, and considering they still control the most popular search engine, it isn’t too surprising they would pick up more users that way.

If you’re like me, you run multiple browsers for different tasks (for instance, I always write my posts in Chrome, but I prefer doing email in Firefox), so that may be part of it, but in general, I think people are just looking for something new.  As they grow frustrated with IE for its various problems, or the seemingly ever more sluggish Firefox, Chrome seems like a good place to go because they trust the Google brand name.

What say you?  Have you switched to Chrome?  If so, why?