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Upcoming browser war, I don't think so

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | 1 comment

Today I continued a discussion on the new browser by Google; Chome, in the Usenet group alt.www.webmasters. Yesterday I had already stated that I don't think that Google's browser is the beginning of a new browser war.

Yesterday I had joined the discussion with (in reply to Andrew Heenan's "The browser wars are ON, and - of course - only IE will not / cannot play."):

IE does play (version 8 is available as a beta), and IE still is the #1 browser, and I doubt that Google will change that soon. People who tried Chrome today are most likely people who already run a non-IE browser. Hence, I am afraid that Chrome will eat mostly marketshare from FF/Opera. So, no browser war IMO.

To which SpaceGirl (Miranda) replied today:

I disagree. The reason FireFox doesn't have much larger impact on the market is down to the "Mozilla... who?" factor. Everyone has heard of Microsoft. Equally everyone has heard of Google.

To which I replied:

Even if everyone has heard about Google Chrome doesn't mean that they are going to install it. I know plenty of people who could switch browsers but just don't. They are happy with IE 7 (or even 6), and are waiting for 8 (or not, if they are using 6). And the majority of people I know don't even care about alternative browsers. They don't think about browsers as such. To them it's the Internet, part of Windows.

So in short, I don't think that many users of Internet Explorer, no matter the version, are going to switch to Google Chrome. And if Internet Explorer keeps most of its market share, there is simply no browser war.

In her reply SpaceGirl furthermore wrote:

Now that the beta link is on the google search page, which is the singularly most popular web page in existence by far, this browser has a real chance of success. The first victims will be Opera and FireFox of course.

The "victims" part was in agreement with what I had already written yesterday, so I didn't disagree with her on that. But I did disagree with the "first" part and hence in my reply I made clear that (again) I doubted that a majority of Internet Explorer users would switch.

SpaceGirl continued her reply with:

While don't think there will be "a war" as such until version 1, this will give all browser makers a scare.

To which I replied:

Only Mozilla, and IMO for a very good reason. If Chrome is going to support my favorite Add ons, I might switch. If they find a decent solution to bookmarking, I might even switch without waiting for Add ons. But at the moment it's to me like Safari on Windows. And it wouldn't amaze me if a lot of people share this: they will play with it a few days, and forget about it (until the next update, if that's a serious one that is).

Opera has always been a minority browser, and I doubt Opera users will massively switch to Chrome. It's the (old) Apple among the browsers so to speak :-).

And I think that all sums up nicely my thoughts on this. In short: no new browser war, and if Chrome gets Add-Ons soon, Mozilla might lose quite some market.

Also today

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