Google's Chrome Web browser could become the second most popular browser on the market before the end of the year, according to data from StatCounter, a Web analytics company. The three-year-old browser would knock Firefox from the second place slot behind Internet Explorer.
The coup would be quite an achievement for Chrome, which was just released in 2008 and has been growing rapidly ever since. By comparison, Firefox was first launched in 2004 and took much longer to attract significant market share.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Chrome was built and released by Google, which has gone to great lengths to market the browser, including by purchasing television ad spots. The company even went so far as to break its own rule about not having ads on the Google search engine homepage, adding a small button in the upper right encouraging users to download Chrome.
Every analytics firm and Web usage tracking service will have different numbers, but in general we tend to see Chrome creeping up on Firefox. Whether that happens by December or at some point next year, what's significant here is the growth Chrome has seen in its three years of existence.
Earlier this week, Mozilla released Firefox 7, which aims to use less memory than previous versions of the browser and hopefully make for a faster Web browsing experience.