It took just 7 years for Google Chrome dominate the world

Google, or should I say Alphabet, has taken over. Most of us use Chome almost every day; nearly 50% of Alphr’s readers use Chrome, and I bet that even your tech-illiterate parents and loved ones have ditched Microsoft‘s now retired Internet Explorer in favour of Google’s browser.

Things didn’t used to be this way. Cast your mind back to 2008 and you’ll see a very different landscape of browser usage, one entirely dominated by Internet Explorer. To help you visualise the mammoth shift from Microsoft’s creaking browser to Google’s own, infographic whizz Jody Sieradzki has used StatCounter to create this mesmerising GIF.

Sieradzki’s mapping plays out like a re-enactment of the shifting global balance of power. Chrome only began to make a dent in the landscape by 2011, but its growth has since been meteoric, swallowing up almost all of South America, Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East in the space of a year. By 2013, there was no turning back, the world almost entirely engulfed by Google’s web browser.

While the battle between Internet Explorer and Chrome is fascinating to watch, it’s also interesting to see the growth of Firefox. In 2008 it was popular in Germany and Poland, as well as a few other countries including the Central African Republic, Myanmar and Indonesia. By 2009 that had spread to only a couple more countries, while the often-forgotten Opera browser had its heyday in Russia and Eastern Europe – before Firefox swooped in to claim the territory in 2010.

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Amusingly, Internet Explorer managed to hold out as the top dog in Greenland, despite its one-year switch to Safari in 2014.

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It should be interesting to see how Chrome holds out for the next seven years, especially against the vastly improved Microsoft Edge browser that is bundled with Windows 10. Perhaps Microsoft can swing the war over web browsers back in its favour.

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