Browser Share Drop for Microsoft Is Bad News

January 2, 2009

The netbooks have arrived in rural Kentucky. Beyond Search now has two of these devices. Nothing beats the IBM mainframe in my opinion, but even old geese have to adapt. Netbooks can run applications, but we find ourselves using portable applications and services available via a WiFi or the Verizon wireless service. Once Firefox is up and running, we have found that over time cloud-based services such as Google Apps are good enough. As fond as we are of the MVS/TSO approach to computing, the browser or browser like environments seem to be the future. Victor Goinez’s “Internet Explorer’s Share of the Browser Market Fell below 70% in November” here struck us as bad news for Microsoft. The article contains a nifty graphic showing the vendors’ respective market shares too. Data reported second or third hand can be wide of the mark. Let’s assume that these figures are spot on. So what? In our opinion, a decline in Internet Explorer share of the market means that other vendors have sucked some oxygen from the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft can keep on breathing, but the company needs to address the problem. Other browser developers may ramp up their attack on IE, which has lagged Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera in some key features. If the shift is evident to computer users in rural Kentucky, the more informed folks in more intellectually astute areas will be even more aware of the importance of the browser and browser like environments. Chrome, in our opinion, only looks like a browser. Chrome is a software airlock that connects a computing device to the Google mothership. If Chrome succeeds in snapping its airlock on more computers, Microsoft’s share of the browser market may continue to experience labored breathing.

Stephen Arnold, January 2, 2008


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