Space Ramblings

Microsoft Sees Chrome as the Competition

Firefox is still the dominant non-IE browser, its market share may even surpass IE, so why is Microsoft ignoring Firefox to focus on Chrome, which despite Google’s heavy backing has a much smaller browser market share than Firefox does?

Microsoft’s touting of IE9 and IE10 features focuses on its speed acceleration versus Chrome. Firefox goes unmentioned. And Microsoft’s hyper development and release schedule for IE9 mirrors the rapid speed at which Chrome goes through new version, not Firefox’s glacial speed of updates. And it’s subtle, but IE9 shows Chrome influence.

Some of this is about corporate rivalry. Microsoft sees Google as a major rival, the Mozilla Foundation looks more like an eccentric blip. Creating a corporate strategy to take on the Mozilla foundation looks silly, but fighting Google makes more sense. Chrome is also more of a multiplatform challenger and Microsoft rightly views it as the opening of a much larger wedge.

But Microsoft isn’t alone in seeing Chrome as the future and Firefox as the old IE. And they have a case to make. Firefox has gotten bulkier over the versions. Chrome isn’t really faster, but it is flashier. Chrome takes a different approach to browsing, with its underemphasis of the browser, and that’s a bigger threat to Microsoft than anything else.

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