Chrome 13 has been released, but the bigger news is found in the overall. Chrome continues to gain ground on a global scale, and recent studies show that both Microsoft and Google are benefiting from brand loyalty that encompasses both browser and search.
Chrome 13 Release
The new version of Chrome follows the company's standard six-week release cycle and includes three new features. The big one, which we discussed previously, is Instant Pages. Instant Pages pre-loads content from sites that Google "can predict with reasonable confidence that you'll click" (according to the Inside Search post discussing the feature). Here's a video demonstration of how Instant Pages works:
Chrome 13 also comes with a "print preview" feature for Windows and Linux users. This preview lets users view any page or document they print from the browser. The preview is automatically generated when you hit "Print" by quickly turning the page into a PDF and using the built-in Chrome PDF viewer.
And last, but not least, the Omnibar has seen improvements. Users can now access sites that they've visited previously more quickly, and Google brags that overall the bar has simply become "smarter."
Chrome is faring very well. Across the globe, figures continue to rise, and Google's browser is now the second most popular in the UK, at 22 percent share (as reported by The Guardian). A lot of the success of Chrome seems to be tied to loyalty to Google search.
According to a relatively small study done by SeatGeek, there's a strong correlation between the browser and search engine being used for traffic. SeatGeek saw 97 percent of Chrome users coming in from Google, while IE users had a substantially higher number coming from Yahoo (origin point for 12 percent of IE users), Bing (five percent), and AOL (one percent).
A second study confirms the same idea: If you use, and stay up to date, with a browser, you're more likely to use the search site from the company who made said browser. According to the Chitika study, IE9 users turn to Bing almost 23 percent of the time, compared to 17 percent for IE8 users, and 11 percent of IE6. Chitika's figures unfortunately don't cover Chrome percentages. I've contacted the author, Daniel Ruby, to see if that information is available, but he has yet to respond.
The picture is clear. Google and Microsoft aren't just selling one element at a time. Their cross-integration and brand loyalty has created a strong tie between browser and search.