Chrome won't be the "killer app" that will make Dell owners switch to a Vaio, but it's a smart branding move by Sony. It can now tell the world that Google, one of the most highly respected companies in the market, has brought its browser to Sony laptops. The move ensures that, at least when it comes to software, Sony is doing what it can to appeal to consumers.
But Chrome's appeal ends with consumers. Although Chrome's simplicity and speed might appeal to businesses, it's the fact that so many of those companies rely on Internet Explorer to get their work done that will preclude them from opting for Google Chrome.
Google Chrome is not an enterprise browser. As much as Google wants to take aim at Microsoft in practically every market it's in, it can't compete with the software giant in the browser space. Internet Explorer, with all its faults and security problems, is perfectly suited for the enterprise. It integrates seamlessly with Windows-another enterprise favorite-and, perhaps more importantly, works with just about any proprietary software companies might employ.
When companies deploy software and allow access to those programs from the Web, more often than not, it's Internet Explorer that employees will need to use to access the program. Admittedly, Internet Explorer's grip on enterprise software is eroding as more companies move to the cloud, but that erosion is taking place slowly. So far, Internet Explorer reigns supreme.
Companies rely on Microsoft's software in their daily operation. From IT managers requiring employees to use Internet Explorer to software requiring its use for work away from the office, Microsoft's browser has become a staunch enterprise ally. If Firefox, a leading browser, hasn't been able to break down that barrier, why would Google Chrome have any more luck?
I'll be the first to admit that Chrome is a stellar browser. It has features even enterprise users want. But since it isn't integrated with enterprise software and most IT managers are content with Internet Explorer, it has little chance of making a splash in the enterprise space.
So while it's nice to see another browser besides Internet Explorer and Safari come bundled with computers, it's debatable how much of an impact Chrome will have. Before it can start taking big strides in the browser market, it will need to overcome the enterprise's strong support for Internet Explorer. And right now that seems like a daunting task.