Google's brand new browser, surprise-launched as a beta release yesterday, has already nabbed an impressive 1% of the global browser market.

According to web traffic analysis company, StatCounter, the new browser, called "Chrome", has reached around the same level of users as Opera has - but within 1 day of launch.

The stats quoted are based on a sample of 18.5 million page views globally on Wednesday 3 September.

"This is a phenomenal performance", said Aodhan Cullen of StatCounter, that describes itself as a rival to Google on website analytics. "This is war on Microsoft but the big loser could be Firefox."

But John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla was positive about the competition: "As much as anything else, it'll mean there's another interesting browser that users can choose".

"With IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc - there's been competition for a while now, and this increases that. So it means that more than ever, we need to build software that people care about and love. Firefox is good now, and will keep on getting better."