Google Chrome Could Nuke Microsoft From the Internet Market

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-09-02 Print this article Print


Microsoft should be very afraid, but it isn't, or is putting on its bravest face, according to this statement sent to me today from Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer:

The browser landscape is highly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips, respects their personal choices about how they want to browse and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online.
It remains to be seen how people will take to IE 8. Most people I know, and not all of them are tech savvy, have been using Firefox for years.

Similarly, Mozilla CEO John Lilly welcomed the competition, applauding Google for following Mozilla's footsteps in creating and open source browser, in a blog post:

It should come as no real surprise that Google has done something here - their business is the Web, and they've got clear opinions on how things should be, and smart people thinking about how to make things better. Chrome will be a browser optimized for the things that they see as important, and it'll be interesting to see how it evolves.

It will be interesting and potentially disastrous for Firefox, which is still trying to grow share versus Microsoft. With Chrome coming up from below, Mozilla could find itself squeezed out.

Do we need another browser? I love Firefox 3. But Hilwa think it's not enough. He told me:

Independently of what Chrome is or is not, I think the state of stability, privacy and security on the Internet has atrophied significantly. While rich Internet applications are making new demands on Web applications and the Web is becoming the default OS for most users, we have allowed it to become something between the Wild West and a Banana Republic. We do need some fresh thinking about how to make the Web safer for every day uses.
Fair enough, but Chrome had better be special when it comes out of beta, showing at least some of experience promise to live up to the hype.

Also, if Google wants business users to use it, it had better be pretty darn secure because, just as people are fed up with IE crashing, they are also tired of its vulnerabilities.

If Google has learned from Microsoft's Web browser failures, it will gain trust quickly among users.

If Google starts to gain browser market share quickly, expect Microsoft to desperately start buying search share, returning to Yahoo and snapping up additional e-commerce properties, similar to its recent purchase of Greenfield Online.



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