Google Chrome is about to take the lead in share of browsers being used. Internet Explorer (IE) has held that lead for, oh .. for ever it seems (10 years). There are huge implications for this. I remember having to deal with IE’s quirks with gimmicky hacks and end-arounds, but now I not only ignore IE 6, I also am thinking that maybe the rest of the IE family is going to be shaken so hard they are forced to rethink (again) their browser and maybe even, they might just end up someday being a “standards compliant” browser (ha!).
I know, it is really easy to jump on the IE-hatin’ bandwagon , and by all accounts, the developers at Microsoft are working really hard and are in earnest of developing excellent products. Hey, they changed the world, after all. IE brought the web into countless homes and cubicles. They took the Netscape geekery out back behind the shed and whipped it into some mainstream acceptance. Thanks for that, Microsoft. Otherwise, I don’t think my 72 year-old pops would be on Facebook.
Aside from shaking up Microsoft, one of the largest companies led by one of the richest individuals on earth, the fact that Chrome may be taking over the lead in the browser wars has implications for big data, so to speak. Specifically, I mean your data about you. Chrome is owned by Google. Google makes money by indexing data for its search engine and then selling ads targeted to people looking for related information. Uh, $37.9
million billion in 2011. And now it is poised to be the “most-used” browser. More market share means even greater revenue. I wonder how Opera is digesting this information?
But it isn’t just about market share; I mentioned more data about you. Google will be wanting to integrate its social media product, Google+, into its browser. Google has already integrated its core products into search (Google Search+ Your World), and possess hordes of data about its Google+ and Android users, including geolocation patterns, driving habits, photos of family and activities (automatically uploaded by default), all of your gmail email content and responses, Google Voice voicemail, and virtual wallet/credit card and banking information. Not to mention web browsing and searching behavior. What if they also had all of your social connections data because users slowly migrated into the built in features of Google+ instead of typing “facebook.com” into their already-open Chrome browser window?
Ben Parr argues that Facebook needs to build its own browser in order to combat this. Stephan Shankland at CNET raises thougtful issues related to antitrust. However, Shankland also provides insight from Paul Adams, who says, “I believe that the Web is being fundamentally rebuilt around people and the world of advertising will fundamentally change because of the emergence of the social Web,” which Google is poised to become the unquestionable leader through the soon to be leadership of Chrome in the browser wars.