Will Microsoft Lose The Browser Wars?
Until recently, software giant, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser enjoyed a relatively unchallenged position as the most popular Web browser in the world.
Despite lawsuits and charges of unfair competition from the likes of Netscape and others, Microsoft dominates browser software with over 90% market share.
Microsoft’s dominance of the browser market stems mainly from the simple fact that the majority of computers get delivered with Microsoft Windows as the default operating system.
Internet Explorer (IE) comes standard with all Windows software and, thus, virtually everyone automatically gets the IE browser. By default, Microsoft owns the browser market because they
catch consumers early, get them conditioned to using the IE software, and, until recently, no other software offered a compelling enough reason to switch. However, with a seemingly endless rash of security problems, consumers started looking elsewhere for alternative Web browser options.
This consumer demand may well spell the end of Microsoft’s dominance in the browser marketplace.
In response to severe security vulnerabilities, several alternative Web browsers recently gained significant market share.
** Opera.com **
One of the original “alternative” browsers, “Opera” offers a significant number of interesting tweaks over Internet Explorer, including the ability to open more than one html page within the browser, as opposed to one page per window with IE.
The free version of Opera carries advertising messages, but for $39 you can turn off the advertising and unlock additional features.
** Mozilla.com **
Mozilla actually offers two choices for alternative Web browsing. Mozilla 1.7, the current version of the original Mozilla software, includes an email program, newsgroup reader, and even a chat feature. Mozilla also offers a newer browser called “Firefox” that has many people raving about enhanced features. Both browsers come free of charge and do not appear to carry any third party advertising.
** Netscape.com **
Netscape, one of the original Web browsers, still offers its browser software free, though you must do some searching on their site to find it.
Scroll to the bottom and click “Download Latest Netscape Browser.”
Based on their site, Netscape seems to be in the middle of an identity crisis since they look more like Yahoo! than a
** An 800 lb. Gorilla on the horizon? **
Online search engine powerhouse, Google, has never shied away from taking on Microsoft.
In fact, they’ve done something Microsoft couldn’t do, namely turn a profit with a search engine.
Based on past behavior, how long do you think it will take Google to release a Web browser of their own?
Despite statements to the contrary, I believe Google will come out with their own Web browser within the next 18 months.
Look at their Hotmail.com alternative, Gmail, at http://gmail.Google.com.
Google gave away so much storage space they forced Hotmail to make major concessions in their free service.
Google Desktop blows away the Microsoft search utility for your PC. Don’t for a second think Google doesn’t have a browser in development and a strategy to release it (for free) .
Guest Columnist Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to use articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links.