Chrome overtakes Firefox in the UK browser battle

Google's Chrome is now the second most popular Web browser in the UK, capturing 22 per cent of the market. That edges out Firefox, which accounts for 21 per cent.

Two tabs go to war! Google's Chrome Web browser is now more popular than Mozilla's Firefox in the UK, and is second only to Internet Explorer in terms of usage, the Guardian reports.

Figures from Internet number crunchers Statcounter say Chrome nabbed 22 per cent of the browser market in July, pipping Firefox, which managed 21 per cent.

Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser, and holds 45 per cent of UK Web surfers hostage, though it's losing traction faster than a Mini Metro on an icy road. Its continued success is presumably due in no small part to the fact that it comes pre-installed as the default browser on new Windows PCs.

As of March last year Microsoft serves up a 'ballot' screen to IE users, which gives them the option to switch browsers if they want, which could explain IE's slowly declining popularity.

We're not sure how to feel. We're big Chrome fans, with most of the CNET UK team using Google's nippy browser. But it's benefited from a huge marketing push and serious Google money, while Mozilla's Firefox is a noble open-source effort (financed largely by Google) that for many years pushed the boundaries of what people expected from their browser.

Speaking to The Guardian, Chrome engineer Lars Bak said, "Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it's also about the minimal design and the way it handles security."

Firefox is still just ahead in worldwide terms, but Chrome's advance is unlikely to slow. Google is tooling up for serious stuff, closing fun products like Labs to focus on hefty new projects such as Google+. It's upsetting: a bit like being a child and going to your father's office and seeing him at work, acting all serious. We want Playtime Dad back!

Google may have become Business Dad, but Mozilla, the organisation behind Firefox, is still the fun uncle -- it's working on an open-source mobile operating system to rival Android.

Which browser is your favourite? Hop off the fence into the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall

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