Many of us who work in high-tech have family that we consider so-called civilians.
Civilians to us are those computer users who are not only non-geeks, but are so far out of the loop on high-tech mechanics that they use Microsoft Word, but don't know enough to call it a word processing application. They just know that it lets them write things.
Google, exasperated by the number of people who don't seem to know what a Web browser is (see this Google-conducted interview from New York City), today launched this WhatBrowser.org Website, which defines what a Web browser is and lets users download the applications that let us surf the Web.
When you go to the site, it will divine whether you're using Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Opera or, of course, Google Chrome. WhatBrowser.org will also offer links to browser diagnostic tests and tips to change your browser home page, search engine and default browser.
The site also links to this browser timeline from Wikipedia and offers this video explaining what a Web browser is, and how it differs from an operating system and a search engine:
"Lots of our time each day is spent online, and every page on the Web is experienced through the browser," Google marketing manager Jason Toff wrote in this blog post. "Unfortunately, most people don't realize that there are many browsers out there, which differ on features like speed, security and extensibility."
Google aims to be browser-agnostic, pointing users to the top five major Web browsers:
This seems like the kind of Website Microsoft could have developed more than a decade ago to tout IE, if only Microsoft had been serious enough about the Web to consider it.
Leave it to the Web-centric company to create this. Still, I'm surprised Google didn't launch to better market its own Chrome Web browser in September 2008.