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Adoption of latest Google Chrome browser outpaces deployment of Firefox 14

Users of Google's Chrome are more likely to be using the most recent version of the browser than those on Firefox, according to new data compiled by online advertising firm Chitika.

The latest version of Mozilla's browser, Firefox 14, is achieving "strong rates of adoption" among users since its launch on 17 July, and now accounts for nearly 67 per cent of all Firefox traffic, Chitika said. But Google's Chrome 21, released two weeks after Firefox 14, makes up nearly 76 per cent of all Chrome traffic — about 9 per cent higher than the adoption rate of Firefox 14.

Moreover, just one day after Chrome's July 31 release, the browser already accounted for almost 25 per cent of all Chrome traffic. In comparison, Firefox 14 only made up 3.5 per cent of Firefox traffic a day after its release.

There are a number of potential reasons why adoption of Google's newest browser has surged past Firefox.

"While we can't say for sure, Firefox's struggle to gain the support of business users due to its unabashedly rapid update schedule could be a large contributing factor," Chitika data solutions engineer Gabe Donnini said.

"At the same time, Chrome has maintained a product focus to cater to those users since late 2010," he added.

Chrome has long offered automatic updates and a fast release cycle; Mozilla adopted a similar strategy last year. It's pretty simple to turn off automatic updates in Mozilla, but doing the same in Chrome is a bit more complicated.

"The potentially higher rate of Chrome adoption in businesses would represent a big opportunity for Chrome to keep more of its users' software up-to-date, as opposed to Firefox," Donnini said.

On a positive note, Firefox has seen some success thanks to its new silent update feature, which allows updates to occur in the background, Chitika said. The feature was added to Firefox back in April with the release of Firefox 12.

Firefox 13, launched on June 5, was the first upgrade Mozilla shipped following the addition of the silent update feature. But three weeks after Firefox 13 was released, it had an adoption rate of just 32 per cent. At the time, Mozilla engineers said an emergency patch called "chem spill" had slowed Firefox 13 adoption.

Now, Firefox 14 is doing twice as well as its predecessor in terms of user adoption, Chitika said. Despite the gains, however, Firefox still lags behind Chrome in terms of having an up-to-date user base.

"While it's evident that Firefox's 'silent update' feature has helped Mozilla improve its adoption rates, Google's enviable figures indicate that there is still a lot of room for Mozilla to improve in order to compete with outside competitors," Chitika said.

Chrome holds the lead when it comes to global market share, according to data from StatCounter. Net Applications, however, puts Microsoft Internet Explorer as the top browser.