Web browser and Google dominance

It is no longer any hot news but yet worth to mention. Google Chrome is the most frequently used web browser on the market. It became reality already in May 2012 and now it is becoming a fundamental change on the market given Google’s position. Not only do they aid you to search data, now they are the main guides to users how to consume it.

It is of course not a surprise to many that the vanishing use of Internet Explorer is a long-term trend and many argue it has to do with how Microsoft has become worse with connecting with the users and consumers. Some others argue that Microsoft lost a lot of trust and recognition to their corporate brand as they tried to keep IE as the main and only choice in Windows for as long as they could, trying to keep the other actors out.

It is however very interesting to look at the perspective between IE and its competitors from late 2008 where the numbers show us a stagnating era of IE-uses. But it does not only say that IE has lost users. Firefox was large already then, it is rather Google that has become experts in providing their users with an experience in line with their expectations. Ironically, Google today owns the worlds two largest search sites: Google.com and Youtube.com. So is Google just a massively great company loved by everyone. In a way many argue that Google are best in listening to the trends and responding to it, listening in closely on their customers to deliver on their expectations. But they are also smart. Tactically they do their analysis well.

As you can see, out of a geographical segmentation of the browser usage, Internet Explorer owns some of the major markets, still dominant in the US, Australia and the Nordics. Not surprising we notice that Google is not as “popular” in the east. 🙂  If we look at the image below we notice the figures geographically, how it looked 2008.

When you see it like this, it is quite apparent what has happened and note that there are only two browsers available. Today’s number 1 – Google Chrome not one of them. They became the largest browser in less than 4 years. Amazing? Yes, it is. Is it cause Google is an amazing company? In many ways it is. But mostly cause Google listen to their consumers. A friend of mine the other day argued that it was dangerous that Google presented the search results as they did – since it would not always bring the sites with the most relevant content but rather the sites belonging to the best eco system and linked to the most meaning us users are directed to specific channels. On the other hand, is that not what users want? Myself I argued just recently that I am not very thrilled with the new iPhone 5 release because they change literally nothing else than providing a slightly better processing power, a larger screen – in retina, and a little lighter. But still the same protected environment hard to integrate with external devices. And as a friend of mine argued back to me: “Is that not what the users want?” – Yes, it seems as such. At least for now, until something shows up with higher quality and shows the users the benefit of a completely flexible platform.

And just to add a perspective, looking upon statistics above. Remember that the digital behavior is changing, users are surfing with mobile devices and that means optimal mobile web sites, apps etc. So, let us not get ahead of ourselves here. Google has made a fantastic journey to battle Internet Explorer and no wonder Microsoft are worried. But that is not the whole picture. Microsoft are worried also because they are not “on the market” for where users will gather information soon enough. Instead Apple show their dominant force. Viva iPhone as the believers cry out. And it is stabile as well, rock solid due to the popularity of their cell phone.

We are going through a transition period and those who are world class in serving the users with what they want, must see to that they are served equally well on-the-go. It will be interesting to see the progress of Chrome and their battle towards Apple where Youtube right now awakes anger at the former office of Steve Jobs. Will write some more of that soon. What is even more interesting will be to see what happens with Windows Phone and their co-operation with Nokia. Some believe it could very well prove a success. Personally, I must say that Nokia has improved a lot since they finally trashed Symbian and made a full-go at Windows Phone. What is Microsofts greatest scare is their lack of innovation power. They are so far behind Apple and Google in that sense, who drive the industry forward with the latest user experience trends, building technology around it. Microsoft has finally made something good of Windows Phone but what is new? It is not enough to make users shift platform when they have paid for a lot of content. Especially not when that content is not even available if you shift. They face a challenge, ‘Nuff said.

Daniel Sonesson


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