In my previous post I had talked about Microsoft finally coming up with a worthy reply to Firefox with IE 8. I guess I published that post a tad bit early because Google launched Chrome in the next 12 hours. So here’s a re-analysis of the landscape taking this crucial development into account.
Launching Chrome means Google’s given up on Firefox, they’re even using Webkit as a base and not Mozilla, I think we can safely count Firefox, Opera and Safari as side shows, in the long run, this will be between Google and Microsoft. I’m not going to go into the features or technicals, the web is plastered with those, I’ll analyze the long term impact this will have instead.
Google putting their hat in the ring means we’re in for a long haul, this is no longer about browser but about the an entire marketplace spread between desktop, mobile and web. With Chrome, Google’s taking a shot at Windows, not paltry Internet Explorer.
Back in 1997, during the heady days of Netscape Navigator, Marc Anderseen, Netscape’s co-founder said
The browser, could “reduce Windows to a set of poorly debugged device drivers.”
Google’s browser is posing the exact same threat that Marc Anderseen talked about, only Google’s a much more serious competitor. With their presence in Web and mobile and extending slowly to the Desktop, Google’s posing a serious threat at Microsoft’s core business model.
GigaOm sums up the direct threat to Windows
In the not so far away future, we’re going to see a confluence between desktop, web and mobile and the slug-fest will be between players that have stakes in all three places (meaning Apple, Microsoft and Google). We’re going to see mobile-only players like Nokia and web-only ones like Yahoo reduced to a minority.
Now it all depends on how far Microsoft lets Google go with Android and Chrome before coming up with a response. I hope it’s not as long as they took in responding to Sun’s JAVA because this time around timing’s gonna count way more.