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Chrome Users Return to IE, Firefox

Google’s new Chrome web browser apparently has lost its charm according to statistics gathered by Net Applications.

According to the company, both Internet Explorer and Firefox lost a handful of users when the browser debut September 2. Touted as a browser that combines "a minimal design with sophisticated technology," Chrome was to make browsing the internet safer and faster than its competitors. Enticed consumers quickly flocked to Google’s download section to test-drive the new software. Google, already throned upon its mounds of cash, saw the browser scoop up almost 1.4 percent market share at its peak; it generated a whopping 0.5 percent market share just two hours after its initial release.

But three weeks later, Chrome users are returning home to Internet Explorer and Firefox. It’s not uncommon to see consumers jump ship and try the newest product. However, Chrome users have discovered that not only is the browser still in its unpolished beta stage, but it implements an alarming keystroke collection attribute built right into the auto-suggest feature. Privacy advocates lashed out at Google, thus convincing the internet giant to anonymize all user data received through search requests beginning September 12.

"Given the concerns that have been raised about Google storing this information—and its limited potential use—we [have] decided that we will anonymize it within about 24 hours (basically, as soon as we practically can) in the two percent of Google Suggest requests we use," wrote Google’s Senior Vice President of Operations Urs Hölzle. "This will take a little time to implement, but we expect it to be in place before the end of the month."

Despite Google’s attempts to regroup, Net Applications reported on Tuesday that Internet Explorer has regained its footing with a strong 72.15 percent market share. This is good news for Bill and the Gang, as the Windows-based browser took the biggest percentile hit when Goggle’s Chrome browser hit the internet, dropping 1.4 percent and ending Chrome’s debut week with a 71 percent share.

"IE took the entire market share hit from Chrome," Net Applications’ executive vice president of marketing Vince Vizzaccaro told Computer World. "And the rest of the alternative browsers all had gains as well."

Indeed, Tuesday’s report also showed that Mozilla’s Firefox browser came in second, owning 20 percent of the market while Apple’s Safari trotted along with a meager 6.37 percent share. Strangely enough, all non-Microsoft browsers actually reported gains upon Chrome’s release.

Because Google’s Chrome browser is still in beta, it’s unfair to judge the software in its present condition. Still, one can’t help but wonder why users are returning to the old "tried but true" browsers. Time - as well as a little polishing - will tell if Chrome will rise back up in the ranks once again.