Google Chrome knocks Safari down to fourth place

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Our own illustrious Craig Grannell might have had issues with Chrome for its willful transgression of Mac interface design principles, but he still liked it enough to make it his new default browser at the end of the day. Looks like Craig wasn’t alone: after last week’s release of the Chrome for Mac beta, Google’s Chrome browser deftly shoved Safari aside in its ascent to the third place slot in the web browser charts.

According to web analytics company Net Applications, Chrome marketshare leaped to 4.4 percent last week, based on the analysis of 160 million unique visitors to 40,000 sites. Meanwhile, Safari only held 4.37 percent of the market. A narrow victory? Sure. But a victory the nonce.

At the end of the day, though, I doubt this means much: at least on the OS X platform, Safari still reigns supreme, with Chrome only accounting for 1.3 percent of all browsers used on OS X last week. Chrome only beats Safari when you take PCs and Linux into account.

I imagine the gains Chrome for Mac has made against Safari in the last week largely come from curiosity. The question is whether or not Mac users will stick with Chrome once that curiosity fades… and once Google polishes off the last of Chrome for Mac’s missing features, they just might. Safari’s just not as good a browser as Chrome for Mac has the potential to be.