Almost four years after Google released a significant portion of Chrome’s source code as a part of the open source project Chromium, Google Chrome has grown to establish itself as one of the most popular browsers in the world, currently garnering 16% of web browsing market share. One of the benefits of converting the Chrome project to open source, has been an intense collaboration from within the developer community which has supported a notoriously rapid release schedule. On March 28th, Google Chrome 18 was released as a stable version to the public, the 8th such update in the last 12 months.

This latest release of Chrome sports several new security improvements discovered by hackers at the Pwnium security challenge last month. The update also introduces graphics technology (Canvas 2D) which take advantage of HTML5 to render graphics more efficiently. Given Chrome’s tenacious stance on the release process, Chitika Insights wanted to investigate how quickly users would be to adopt the latest version of the browser.

To measure the adoption rate of Google Chrome 18, Chitika Insights analyzed a sample of impressions seen within the Chitika Ad network, taken between March 30th and April 2nd, covering hundreds of millions of unique impressions. Below is a graph detailing the version distribution of Google Chrome as of April 2nd 2012:

Our data indicates that after less than a week on the market, 33% of Google Chrome users are already on version 18. As we stated in an alternate study on Firefox Version Distribution, Google Chrome’s rapid rate of adoption is likely due to the fact that Google employs auto-updating feature, which updates the browser to the latest version upon detection. With over half of all users on Chrome 17, more than 80% of all Chrome users are using the latest two versions. This further indicates the success of Google’s open source driven rapid release process as well as lesser market fragmentation and security vulnerability moving into the future.

In the world of advertising and running a business either entirely online or with an online component, the pace of the software development has been picking up for the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. This high speed, no breaks environment requires regular and persistent preparation; Google Chrome itself is on a tight 6 week beta to stable development cycle. By ensuring that respective platforms and services are up to date and capable of running the latest versions of software efficiently, advertisers and business owners will be able to cut costs and minimize downtime in the face of change.

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