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Since Chrome's initial release in 2008 it has grown in market share, and now controls roughly half of the desktop browsers market. In contrast with Internet Explorer, the previous dominant browser, this was not achieved by marketing practices such as bundling the browser with a pre-loaded operating system. This raises the question of how Chrome achieved this remarkable feat, while other browsers such as Firefox and Opera were left behind. We show that both the performance of Chrome and its conformance with relevant standards are typically better than those of the two main contending browsers, Internet Explorer and Firefox. In addition, based on a survey of the importance of 25 major features, Chrome product managers seem to have made somewhat better decisions in selecting where to put effort. Thus the rise of Chrome is consistent with technical superiority over the competition.
This version has expanded descriptions of experimental procedures and especially of the statistical analysis used in the feature importance survey.