Google Chrome is a freeware web browser developed by Google. It used the WebKit layout engine until version 27 and with the exception of its iOS releases, from version 28 and beyond uses the WebKit fork Blink. It was first released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows on September 2, 2008, and as a stable public release on December 11, 2008.As of December 2015, StatCounter estimates that Google Chrome has a 58% worldwide usage share of web browsers as a desktop browser. It is also the most popular browser for smartphones, and combined across all platforms at about 45%. Its success has led to Google expanding the 'Chrome' brand name on various other products such as the Chromecast.Google releases the majority of Chrome's source code as an open-source project Chromium. A notable component that is not open source is their version of the built-in Adobe Flash Player, called Pepper Flash Player.HistoryGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt opposed the development of an independent web browser for six years. He stated that "at the time, Google was a small company," and he did not want to go through "bruising browser wars." After co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page hired several Mozilla Firefox developers and built a demonstration of Chrome, Schmidt admitted that "It was so good that it essentially forced me to change my mind."