• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 19s

Google hits Microsoft where it hurts — the browser

By Erik Sherman / MoneyWatch 6:35 PM June 6, 2014

Google’s (GOOG) Chrome browser has overtaken Microsoft (MSFT) Internet Explorer as the most popular Web interface in the U.S.

study by software maker Adobe Systems shows Chrome with 31.8 percent of the browser market, compared with 30.9 percent for IE and 25 percent for Apple’s (AAPL) Safari. Mozilla Firefox’s share of the market dropped to 8.7 percent, from almost 20 percent just two years ago.

The shift underscores the importance of free software in a continuing three-way battle between Google, Microsoft and Apple for control of how consumers interact with the Internet. Both Google and Apple enjoy the advantage of large mobile presences, which allows them to promote their own browsers. In addition, Google has gained significant ground on PCs.

Although Microsoft long held a home-field advantage with its domination in PC operating systems, the company’s Windows Phone platform has a tiny market share for mobile browsers. Usage of Firefox’s mobile platform depends on consumers downloading and installing it on their devices as an app. People want a “consistent experience across devices,” according to Adobe Digital Index, a site that covers digital marketing trends.

Browsers have long been available for free download, although apps are increasingly replacing them on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. But browsers remain important because, like other free software and services, they are a proxy for consumers. If people choose one vendor’s browser, then the company can turn it into a platform and open it to developers, as Google has done with Chrome. The hope is that the more accustomed people are to a company’s browser, the more likely they will be to use other products and services that the platform maker and its allies provide.

Microsoft long used IE as a weapon in corporate computing. Many companies built internal Web-based applications optimized for the software giant’s browser. But the growing popularity of Chrome could persuade some companies to change their software to work with Chrome as the front end.

Search engines are another front in the battle among big technology companies to corral users. Apple has made Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine for the Siri voice interface in its iOS mobile platform. Apple could also potentially turn Bing into the default way to search. Search ad revenue is a vital source of revenue for Google, and any significant inroads by Apple in search could threaten the the search giant’s business.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Fairbanks debates federal proposal on Alaska predator hunts

    by Associated Press on Feb 12, 9:04

    Fairbanks residents have shown support for a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal that would ban some bear, wolf and coyote hunts on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a majority of people who testified at a public hearing in Fairbanks Wednesday were in favor of the federal agency’s predator hunting […]

  • News

    Sitka to act on recommendations in landslide study

    by Associated Press on Feb 12, 8:35

    Sitka officials say they plan to make land development improvements following the release of a study on the August landslides. The Sitka Sentinel reports the consulting firm Shannon & Wilson presented their findings Tuesday at a Sitka Assembly meeting. The report examined the causes of the Aug. 18 landslide above Kramer Avenue that left three people […]

  • Crime

    Troopers arrest man suspected in violent home eviction

    by Associated Press on Feb 12, 8:23

    A Houston, Alaska, man has been arrested for taking part in a home eviction that Alaska State Troopers say turned violent. Troopers took a report Saturday night of a stabbing at a home at Mile 53 Parks Highway and learned two men had tried to evict a family at the request of a third party. […]

  • Crime

    Ex-hunting TV show host sentenced in poaching case

    by Associated Press on Feb 12, 8:05

    A former host of a cable TV hunting show has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for his role in a poaching operation on a remote national preserve in Alaska. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday that footage of some of the illegal hunts was shown on Clark W. Dixon’s cable TV show “The […]

  • News

    Sitka settles with teen from stun gun video

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 12, 7:55

    Sitka has settled out of court with the teen Sitka police officers shocked multiple times with a stun gun. Video from the incident was posted on Youtube (below). Frank Hoogendorn was 18 when officers arrested him for for drinking alcohol in September 2014. When the video surfaced last November, he claimed police used excessive force […]

  • News

    USO opens first center in Alaska

    by Bonney Bowman on Feb 12, 6:47

    The USO held a grand opening for a brand new center at JBER, the first of its kind in Alaska. It’s designed to be a home away from home for service members, says center director Tara Mogan. “You can kinda just kick back,” she said. “It’s like sitting in your living room.” The center features […]

  • News

    After 4 years, 50,000 miles, traveler denied US visa to finish Alaska adventure

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 12, 6:00

    We live in a place that people around the world dream of visiting, but not everyone would go to the lengths one man did to get to Alaska. Ben Jamin, not his real name, has been traveling the world for the last 7 years. But perhaps his biggest adventure started when he bought a Volkswagen […]

  • News

    Sullivan: Top Army official’s visit a step toward maintaining Alaska’s troops

    by Emily Carlson on Feb 12, 0:14

    The U.S. Army’s most senior uniformed officer spent Wednesday and Thursday in Alaska on a fact-finding mission. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, was at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Thursday reviewing the 4-25 Airborne Brigade — a group of 2600 soldiers the U.S. Army said they were cutting back in July. In October, the cuts […]