Yesterday's announcement that Google's back-to-basics Chrome Internet browser will be the default web surfing application for all new Sony personal computers may be less of a blow to Microsoft's Internet Explorer than it is to Mozilla's Firefox browser. After all, notes Matt Asay in his CNET blog, The Open Road, Firefox users have for years been pressuring major hardware vendors to preinstall their browser, but have enjoyed little success.
But why would Sony preinstall Google's Chrome, which now has less than 3% of the browser market, when Firefox has nearly 23%? Asay suggests that Sony was going after Google's brand name recognition and its history of innovation. Of course, Firefox has produced its share of browser innovations, and many of Google's most popular innovations — including its popular Google Toolbar, on which users can place dozens of useful shortcuts and enhancements — won't work on its own browser.
Asay also notes that the Chrome deal opens up the possibility that Sony, as well as other computer manufacturers, will eventually sign on to ship the promised Google Chrome operating system, which aims to supplant Windows as the software that runs most personal computers.
For more from Knowledge at Wharton on the browser wars and related skirmishes, see: