Google’s Chrome Won’t Hurt IE – Only FireFox

Mattias Geniar, Saturday, November 22, 2008

According to a post on ArsTechnica.com, it seems Google is ready to release its new browser to the world, by setting it as a default browser on new computers.

Google, meanwhile, is exploring its distribution options and examining the various ways it might improve its market share. "We will probably do distribution deals,” Pinchai told The Times. "We could work with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and have them ship computers with Chrome preinstalled."

By preinstalling the browser on new computers, you'll reach a relativily small percentage of internet users out there. It might replace IE for some users, but those who are scared of changes (and that's just about every PC user with little or no knowledge of IT) will return to Internet Explorer -- their safehaven, the software they know and have used for several years. It's proven to work -- why would they switch to something else?

Those people that use FireFox (a 20% marketshare at the moment), have made the step from Internet Explorer to try the new browser. They are the ones that _do_ like change, so they switched. That 20% marketshare is probably the only share that'll considder using Google's Chrome. 

By further promoting it, the Chrome browser will only steal marketshare of the "alternative" browsers -- FireFox, Safari, Opera, ... -- not the mainstream Internet Explorer users causing more diversity.

Since the launch of IE3 in 1996 to today, Microsoft has never had to compete for browser share against a company as large and powerful as itself. Once Chrome launches, that's going to change; Google has the money and the expertise to match Microsoft dollar-for-dollar and feature-for-feature. If both companies stay on track, 2009 may be the year we finally test John Curran's hypothesis, both in the UK and around the world.

I'm curious to see how that will go. If spending money only means getting the browser preinstalled, then the war will still be won by IE. If it means tearing down IE's reputation through public ads, commercials and likes -- to get to the "common" man, who's afraid of change -- it might tilt the other way around.

If I look at my immediate surroundings, those users that still used Internet Explorer a few months ago, are using it now. Those that had FireFox/Safari/Opera, made the switch to Chrome.

I was ones a FireFox user. I switched to Chrome.


Hi! My name is Mattias Geniar. If you're interested in keeping up with me, have a look at my podcast and weekly newsletter. For more updates, follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar.

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Comments

Adam Monday, November 24, 2008 at 11:40

I do not agree with you. I think that adding more standards compliant browsers to the playing field is good for everyone. I think that there are a lot of people who are too scared to download a browser (god knows why) but if there is a new icon on their desktop labeled ‘Internet’ then people will start using it.

This will only affect people who don’t know about browsers or never thought about changing it or who have no interest in changing it.

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Matti Monday, November 24, 2008 at 11:44

I agree that we need more standard compliant browsers, but that’s besides the point. People are used to IE, and have been for several years – because it works for them. Because most sites make sure to have it work correctly in IE (who would just ditch a 70% marketshare browser?) – even though they don’t respect any RFC’s.

I’d love to see more people use FireFox or Chrome, but I doubt it will happen soon.

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roy Friday, July 24, 2015 at 20:42

thanks you! you helped me to get Woocommerce to work again.
bless u

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