So Who’s Going to Use Google Chrome?

Sep. 02, 2008 | by Jonathan Stewart

In addition to Adam’s post

Today Google will officially launch Google Chrome, their first foray into the world of browsers.  In a hugely competitive market that is dominated by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers, it will be exciting to see what the advent of a browser by a second Fortune 100 company will do to the market.

Google is clearly hoping to make a dent in Microsoft’s lead, having long enjoyed a friendly relationship with Mozilla.  Google have actively promoted Firefox on their homepage, and it’s estimated that up to 80% of Mozilla’s revenue comes from search tie-ins with Google: the I’m Feeling Lucky search from the address bar, the Google search box in the top right of the browser, and the default Google homepage.

This relationship was set to end in November 2008, but with curious timing, just this week Google and Mozilla reached an agreement to extend this relationship until November 2011.  Why would Google do this?  Why, in the same week, would they choose to launch a killer app, and then also agree to give considerable funding to one of their leading competitors?

My view, without yet seeing Google Chrome, is that they’re not hoping this will be an attack on Firefox’s established and often loyal following.  You just need to delve into the minds of the demographics using each browser.  I’m a techie.  I use Firefox.  I do my utmost to avoid Internet Explorer, possibly only using it to check for cross-browser capabilities of any coding changes I’ve made.  Even then, I can download a plugin for Firefox that allows me to replicate IE’s behaviour.

I work with lots of techies who feel the same.  It will take us a lot to move away from Firefox.  I’ve got all the plugins, extensions, & themes that I need to make my working life easier and more enjoyable.  I’m not saying I won’t try Google Chrome – of course I will!  I’ll give it a good go – maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and will move permanently, but I think the main adopters of Google Chrome will be those that find that it offers a faster, more secure, and more interactive way of browsing the web, and this is where they’ll hit Microsoft’s market.

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    Comments (2)

    • Shuo Cheng

      Google use Chrome exactly the same way as Microsoft using IE, Chrome will be a platform to sell Google's search product. I used Chrome few weeks then turn back to Firefox, Chrome is still a toy, but I won't uninstall it, I'm waiting for Chrome 2. Our statistic shows Chrome users has no increase since it’s released.Oct 9, 2008 09:38 am

    • Antony Mayfield

      I think that this about openness and competition.

      The way I see it, Google doesn\'t need to see entering the browser market as a zero-sum game, the way Microsoft did when it set out to leverage its desktop dominance to squeeze out competition and control the way people sw the web.

      It sees its browser as a way of improving the market, the way that people use the web.Sep 3, 2008 08:13 am

     
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