Why Google Will Dominate The Browser Wars

Mon, Sep 20, 2010

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The browser wars are heating up again, with Mozilla, Google, and Microsoft as the main competitors. Google has announced its intentions to release several new versions in rapid succession, and Microsoft is pushing Internet Explorer 9. All the players realize that the stakes are higher than ever before, with more advertising dollars being poured onto the web, and with the boom of software as a cloud-based service. But ultimately, there is no question that Google is the strong favorite to win and for Chrome to become the dominant browser. Here’s why:

  1. Chrome was built for Web 2.0
  2. Google Chrome stands apart from all other browsers because of its speed – specifically its speed with JavaScript. From the start, Chrome was built as a minimal browser that featured a dedicated JavaScript engine which compiles JavaScript into machine code, which gave (and continues to give) it a huge performance advantage for web applications. Mozilla, on the other hand, was developed during the Web 1.0 era, and it shows; even though Firefox 3.0 features greatly improved JavaScript performance, it still can’t match Google Chrome’s snappyness. Google has a huge head-start on web application performance, and everyone else is playing catch-up.

  3. Google knows how people use the web
  4. Google has more information about people’s browsing habits than any other company, and therefore they have a huge advantage over the competition. Just where do they get all this information? Google Adsense and Google Analytics. Google analytics runs on a huge chunk of the top-500 websites, and all that information provides an invaluable insight into user’s behavior. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that Google Adsense can be used to gather the same data. (Adsense would be even more useful, since Google could track user’s behavior across websites.)

    Google knows more about the average user’s screen resolution, color depth, machine performance, and usage patterns than anyone It’s impossible to overstate this advantage, and it’s one that must drive Microsoft mad with frustration. This knowledge provides Google with a direction of focusing its engineering resources, and allows them to pick up on new trends before anyone else.

  5. Google provides a complete web package
  6. When the desktop was king, Microsoft was without an equal; they made the operating system, the office suite, and the entertainment (remember Microsoft Flight Simulator, and all those other Microsoft games?). But as the pipe got wider and cloud-based applications grew in popularity, Microsoft was left in the dust and Google gained significant ground. Now, with Gmail, iGoogle, Google Apps, and YouTube, Google is positioned to provide a near-complete computing environment, all of it in the browser (hence the feasability of a Chrome OS, a direct threat to Microsoft on small formfactor devices).

    Since it provides the services, Google has a unique opportunity for feature integration and interoperability when they provide the browser itself as well. If people use Google services already, and those services work even better in a Google browser, that’s a strong incentive to switch to Chrome; and since the user is already on a Google site, it’s free for Google to push an advertisement for their browser.

  7. Users are getting smarter
  8. There will always be Internet Explorer users, even after Microsoft stops making Internet Explorer. Some people simply don’t know, or care, about so-called ‘alternative browsers.’ These are primarily the moms & dads and the computer illiterate. But on the whole, users are getting smarter about these things; that’s simply something that is going to happen as technology invades more aspects of our lives and kids grow up with iPads and smartphones. People are also spending more time online, which means that their choice of web browser actually becomes increasingly important. When you combine these two points, you realize that the once insurmountable advantage of Internet Explorer — that it is installed on all Windows-based machines by default — is rapidly losing its importance.

The proof is in the numbers. If you have a look at the latest browser trends you’ll see that Chrome’s adoption is actually speeding up, whereas Microsoft is losing ground and Firefox has leveled out. I predict that by 2012, we’ll see a higher number of Chrome than Firefox users.

What do you think?

Which browser do you use? Which browser do you think is the best? Do you use Chrome, or do you think it’s garbage? Leave your opinions in the comment section below!

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8 Responses to “Why Google Will Dominate The Browser Wars”

  1. I use Firefox, principally because I use about a dozen add-ons that make it work they way I do.

    I think it may be time to have another look at Google Chrome browser and see how the add-ons have progressed.

    Thanks for this article, it has certainly given me an insite into why Chrome seems to be growing so fast.


    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      Thanks for commenting, Ampers. It’s good to hear from you again.

      I personally don’t use many add-ons, although I know a few people that do. One person I talked to feels that the quality of the add-ons for Firefox is greater, although he still switched to Chrome for the sheer speed and stability of it.

      I imagine that as the Chrome userbase continues to grow, developers will continue to make and improve add-ons for it. Firefox probably still has the lead here since it was the first common browser to really push the idea of add-ons.

  2. Bryce says:

    I agree with you, you have some solid points in this article that are hard to argue with. I was an avid firefox user myself but have switched to Google Chrome for its slickness, speed and I like how it doesn’t hog system resources.

    • Jonathan DePrizio says:

      I think the speed issue might become the biggest problem for firefox. A lot of people who try chrome probably stay with it because the performance makes it such a nicer user experience.

  3. Giorgos says:

    I agree with Andrew.

    Chrome is not very well supported, on the add-ons field.
    Eg. it doesn’t have a video download addon.

    While the browser itself is excellent (and light in resources), I’ll wait for more extensions, before using it.

    Greets!!! :-)

  4. Chrome is fine for recreational browsing but can Gooey be trusted not to compromise privacy? “The World Wonders.”

  5. cool says:

    about only 10% of users use Chrome to visit my site.
    80 % use Firefox
    5% use IE
    3% use Opera
    2% Other

  6. neb says:

    Chrome is fast, firefox is becoming increasingly buggy and unstable. especially on win xp I am noticing. My main criticism of chrome is a lack of pravacy/tracking control, add-ons etc. Mind you, firefox losing flashblocker Stopautoplay was a big downer recently.

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