Chrome takes third spot in browser top ten

GOOGLE'S CHROME has knocked Apple's Safari browser into fourth spot in the battle of the browsers, just 16 months after its debut.

California based web statistics firm Net Applications revealed that Google Chrome now boasts a market share of 4.63 per cent, edging out Safari, whose market share slipped to 4.46 per cent.

Google has bombarded the masses with a massive marketing campaign ever since the browser was launched in September 2008, to give it a leg up. It has also released beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux operating systems.

Despite being overtaking by Chrome, Apple's Safari dropped managed to gain a tenth of a percentage point in the market, according to the click counters.

The Opera browser gained a most ground in December following the release of Opera 10. It ended up with a market share of 2.4 per cent at the end of year.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer still rules the roost with a market share of 62.7 per cent while Mozilla Firefox commands a healthy 24.6 per cent slice of the pie.

Chrome's success means it will now draw the attention of hackers, according to from security vendor McAfee.

Sam Masiello, director of threat management at McAfee, said: "It'll be the new kid on the block, that's one of the primary drivers why we think cybercriminals will target Chrome OS. The same thing happened to Windows Vista and Windows 7, even before they were finished". Masiello reckons Chrome's heavy reliance on the HTML 5 could be an Achilles heel.