Google Chrome is not only the world’s number one browser but also the world’s most popular desktop application, according to data provided by security company Avast.
A report analyzing software installed on machines running Avast in the first quarter of the year indicates that Google Chrome is currently the top most installed PC program, followed by Adobe Reader and Flash Player (the ActiveX version). Mozilla Firefox, Google’s Chrome top rival at this point, is fourth, followed by the Flash Player plug-in, Skype, and VLC. WinRAR, Java, and Adobe Air complete the top 10.
According to Avast, the average PC user has 49 installed programs, and on more than half of them, Google Chrome is the default browser. Net Applications, a third-party research firm, indicates that Chrome is close to securing 60 percent of the desktop market.
Although many of these apps receive updates regularly, there’s an important share of users that don’t actually install the latest versions, which keeps them vulnerable and exposes their PCs to attacks.
“Over 52% of the most popular, critical and security related applications, like Firefox, Flash or Java aren’t being updated by users around the world. This can be caused by users ignoring updates and updates not working properly. It doesn’t just open up the door for attackers exploiting out of date software vulnerabilities, but users are also missing out on the latest features, bug fixes and compatibility they get through latest software,” Avast explains.
Java leads the chart of the top 10 least updated programs, followed by the ActiveX version of Flash Player, FoxIt Reader, GOM Media Player, and Nitro Pro. As you can see, top programs that come with a built-in update engine are not on the list, as is the case of Google Chrome.
In fact, Google Chrome leads the chart concerning up-to-date applications, as no less than 88 percent of the systems where Avast software was installed were also running the most recent version of the browser. Opera is second with 84 percent, while Microsoft’s Skype is third with 76 percent.