Friday, September 5, 2008

Google Chrome: Brilliant or Doomed?

The first time I saw the link on Google's homepage for their new web browser, I could barely contain my excitement. I refrained from downloading it immediately, though, as I wanted to wait a bit - am relying on Mark to test it and to give the verdict.

I saw an article on Zdnet, though, which says that Google Chrome is on the path to self-destruction. I do not know how true this is but here are the main points:

Internet Explorer's stranglehold
The average computer user tends to lack the technical know-how or motivation to change from their default browser, Internet Explorer, giving Microsoft around 60 per cent of the market without even trying. Despite being the only really viable alternative to IE's domination, Firefox has struggled to gain above 20 per cent of the market.

Bad track record
Despite Google's search dominance, its other homegrown applications have failed to attract anywhere near the same popularity.

Google backlash
With the Google brand already ubiquitous worldwide, could the sheer scale of the search giant's reach start to scare consumers? Tor Odland, head of communications for rival browser Opera, thinks the brand's attempted dominance could prompt an anti-Microsoft style backlash against lack of choice.

Damage to Google services
Google has traditionally taken a cross platform approach to its services and worked closely with its soon-to-be rivals Opera and Mozilla, and recently renewed a deal with Mozilla that puts Google as the default search in Firefox. Focusing on Chrome could see those all-important bonds start to loosen.

How to get it out there?
There is also the question of how Google will get Chrome onto people's computers in the first place. Will it take the Apple approach of bundling it with other application downloads as Apple did with Safari and iTunes or Sun's bundling of Java downloads with OpenOffice.
What do you think, are these reasons enough to doom Chrome?

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