The Browser Monopoly

Blair looks at the current stronghold that Chrome (Google) has over the browser market, how they got there, and why they’re such a tough force to disrupt. I especially like the ideas around what Firefox could be doing to help challenge this, and I for one will be happy to pay some money for the use of a future Firefox browser to keep Mozilla ticking over.

Google Chrome was conceived and developed for a fairly straightforward purpose: advertising. Google called this “driving innovation on the web,” and to be fair, Chrome introduced a lot of neat new features (Porn “Incognito Mode,” multithreaded memory changes, tabs and more). But what Google was really doing was laying the groundwork for the ability to deliver all sorts of new online ad formats (like video) and complicated Javascript behind them that would help track and target users more effectively. The first created new, higher-margin ad products that Google (and others) could sell; the second would give advertisers and marketers new tools to convince their companies of ROI on those ads, enabling more digital ad spending over newspapers or whatever.

In other words, it was a win-win for Google.

An excerpt from The Browser Monopoly

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