BEIJING: Google is attempting to promote its Chrome browser by offering it as a Christmas present.
The service is essentially an e-card, allowing the sender to enter a recipient's e-mail address, and attach a photo or video.
The idea is that people might send it to friends and relatives, who may be unaware of the range of existing alternative browsers. "If you're looking for gift ideas, why not wrap up Google Chrome with one of our shiny themes and give the gift of super-fast browsing? Google Chrome is so simple to use, even your granny will love it", Google says.
Since its launch last year Google Chrome has failed to take a significant share of the browser market. Less than 5 percent of Internet users currently browse with Chrome despite its speed, as compared to Internet Explorer and Firefox.
However Chrome is the fast growing browser and has crept up slightly in the last few weeks to third place in the browser wars.
NetApplications' measurements of browser usage share, which track which browsers individuals use based on visits to the company's network of Web sites, gave Chrome the third-place spot after Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox for the week of December 6 through 12. According to a Computerworld story, published on Tuesday, Chrome had 4.4 percent share to Safari's 4.37 percent.
Even though 0.03 percentage points is a lot of people in the real world, it is a small fraction. Weekly statistics also vary. Although Firefox cleared 25 percent share in one week of November, it averaged only 24.72 percent for the overall month.
Regardless of the precise details the Chrome trajectory is upward. Its November usage share was 3.93 percent to Safari's 4.36 percent. And although Google has relied on word of mouth for promoting its original online search product, its more active role in making Chrome a Christmas present may find new users.