By Nerino Petro at 2 September, 2008, 10:50 am
Google has announced the release of it own Windows based web browser called Chrome. Downloads are supposed to be available starting at 2 PM Eastern Time today, September 2, 2008. The announcement was made on Monday September 1 (Labor Day here in the US) after a comic explaining the process behind the design of the new browser was apparently leaked.
There are already a number pf articles and posts on this subject, but this eWeek Microsoft Watch post by Joe Wilcox titled "Google Eats Its Young" has some interesting observations on t he effect this may have on Google partners such as Mozilla and its Firefox browser. While I use Google as my primary interent search engine,I am concerned about the growth of the company and its dominance in the internet marketplace.
Despite Googles oft quoted "You can make money without Doing Evil" stance, we've seen the company give in to demands of the Chinese government. And if Microsoft's monopoly isn't a good thing, when does one company that is assuming an ever increasing dominance on the web become a monopoly? Apparently I share these and other concerns with Mr. Wilcox.
From the perspective of some Google search partners, Chrome is evil. For example, Mozilla generates most of its real revenue from that Google search box in Firefox's right-hand corner. Sure, end users can change the default search engine. But given Google's huge search share—61.9 percent in July, according to ComScore—the default is likely to remain the same. Google wants to keep that money it gives Mozilla and other browser developers.
Google has used other companies and technologies as a foil to the Microsoft juggernaut and they deserve kudo's for doing so. However, lets not lose sight of the fact that Google is a business and all of the nice sounding platitudes aside, when one company comes to dominate a segment of the market, it's the consumer that usually loses.
Time will tell whether or not this effort by Google will be successful, but I echo Joe's sentiments when he states:
How ironic if Google does to Firefox what Microsoft couldn't: Kill the browser.