Google Chrome is the undisputed reigning champion of the internet browser market.
In the first eight months of 2018 Google Chrome had a staggering 62.79 per cent chunk of the internet browser market, according to NetMarketShare.
Its nearest rival, the ageing Internet Explorer, had a 11.76 per cent share with Firefox behind on 10.23 per cent.
Microsoft’s newer browser Edge, which is bundled in with Windows 10, had just a 4.37 per cent slice of the internet browser market.
Chrome is by far and anyway the most popular browser in the world, but some users may be tempted to switch after a rival launched a big new feature.
This week Mozilla announced that its Firefox browser will be getting a major privacy shake-up.
Firefox will start blocking all user tracking by default, which will affect cookies that hide in the background and follow your clicks.
This means that users will be protected from passing on, without realising, information on their internet behaviour to third-parties.
In a blog post, Mozilla’s head of product strategy Nick Nguyen said: “In the physical world, users wouldn’t expect hundreds of vendors to follow them from store to store, spying on the products they look at or purchase.
“Users have the same expectations of privacy on the web, and yet in reality, they are tracked wherever they go.
“Most web browsers fail to help users get the level of privacy they expect and deserve.
“In order to help give users the private web browsing experience they expect and deserve, Firefox will strip cookies and block storage access from third-party tracking content.
“We’ve already made this available for our Firefox Nightly users to try out, and will be running a shield study to test the experience with some of our beta users in September.
“We aim to bring this protection to all users in Firefox 65, and will continue to refine our approach to provide the strongest possible protection while preserving a smooth user experience.”
Mozilla said that this will also bring about browser performance improvements.
The Firefox makers citied a Ghostery study which said 55.4 per cent of the time required to load a website on average is spent on third party trackers.
It remains to be seen whether the new Firefox feature will see an uptick in its user base.
However, VentureBeat’s Emil Protalinski in an opinion piece said the news was a “game-changer” and something Google will have a “hard time matching”.
In a post online, he said: “Removing cross-site tracking, is the real game-changer.
“This is what I mean when I say Firefox is hitting Chrome in the ads. I’m not talking about straight-up blocking ads.
“Sure, Chrome has started blocking some ads by default, but its implementation is by no means a full-blown ad blocker.
“Mozilla’s declaration of war on trackers also isn’t going to block ads directly.
“But it is going to significantly hinder how advertisers can target users. Blocking cross-site tracking by default is a massive win for users.
“Chrome can’t respond to Firefox with the same functionality without some serious soul-searching.
“Google’s parent company Alphabet derives most of its revenue from ads, and cross-site tracking is critical to thousands of advertisers.”