Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Browser Wars

It's true folks. Microsoft is losing the browsing war, not slowly and surely, but suddenly and utterly. Since June, Microsoft has lost 10% of the browsing market to wunderkind Firefox. Here's an excellent article about that and a nice excerpt which highlights the struggle:

"""Last year, when Microsoft rolled out XP SP2 and declined to offer the security enhancements to Windows 2000 users, analysts grumbled that the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant was using security as a carrot to get businesses to upgrade.

"Will customers be migrating [to XP] because they're trying to get the security benefits? Or are they spending money because Microsoft isn't shoring up Windows 2000 adequately? That's a legitimate question to ask," security analyst Michael Silver said at the time.

Those criticisms are bound to resurface this time around as details of the security goodies in IE 7.0 start to dribble out."""

Microsoft doesn't know what its browser is gonna have this summer, but it knows its coming (from the same article):

""""We're not yet prepared to go into details about what will or won't be included in IE 7.0," Barzdukas said."""

The giant bumbling corporation has to do something. Microsoft already lost 10% of its market share, mostly private people, and is now struggling to maintain its core B2B business. And with Firefox improving daily, Microsoft has to contend with the brains and and billions of dollars of Google connecting with the Firefox crew to maybe put the gbrowser.com that Google has already registered to use.

Here's my ad:

(Voice over sounds like one of those political commercial voices, very stern and sincere talking trash on the other candidate) "Did you know that you can have Mozilla's Firefox spawn a set of tabbed web pages when you start your session?"

{And you show someone starting up Firefox) (Pages: email, Google, something, Mozilla) and she tabs through her pages, and of course the last one is the Mozilla page. And maybe you can then have the camera zoom in on the web address, with some kind of effects.
(Political voice over again) "Starting four web pages can take you a minute to do manually.

If you make $24000 per year, then you make about 21 cents a minute. And so Internet Explorer costs you $300 per year.

"What is that? Some kind of Explorer Tax?"

"Get Firefox, at Mozilla.org. No popups. No viruses. Free money."

And you'd very much like to defray costs by selling the rights to placement on the other pages to somebody, preferably Google, and a well-know email company. It could be very profitable to build an alliance between several different tech companies. And it probably needs a talking dog and a baby.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Nice to see you're blogging AJ. Heard about you through Cass - now I'll read regularly.

re:google browser, First of all everything is pure speculation from their registration of gbrowser.com, but thats basically meaningless. They also have:

and many many others

They're a $multi-billion corporation, so anything remotely plausible for them to go into ever in their future is worth the $4 or whatever it costs per year to register a domain.

And (unfortunately) it doesn't look like they see microsoft as their competitor. They will, once MS makes it more obvious they're trying to kill google (the enemy of you is your enemy, whether you like it or not, no?), perhaps by integrating msn search into IE7 and longhorn, but google is first and foremost an advertising company, and as long as IE7 shows google ads on websites that put them there and msn search is noticably inferior to google search, then google will make its ad revenue and not worry about not controlling its store-front itself.

If Firefox wasn't so good and gaining such popularity it might be different, so google will support them, but its not really their style to put out a product for lock-in, or any product unless they can really innovate on whats already out there. And hell, why bother investing all those resources creating a broswer when firefox already integrates google search into one. Their don't-be-evil-and-open-sourcers-will-like-you
strategy seems to be a good one.

Anyway, I hope you keep writing. And get out of marketing. If you're ever around Berkeley or SF there'll always be a couch you're welcome to crash on.

Dan S.