• 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

    Streets to Sheltered: Homeless family wins apartment raffle

    by Bonney Bowman on Jan 29, 19:13

    An Anchorage couple once considered homeless has been moved into a new home after winning a local non-profit group’s raffle. Wednesday, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. hosted Project: Homeless Connect, which gave the couple the break they were waiting for. Rose Hubbard and her husband were one of four families randomly selected in a raffle for empty […]

  • Crime

    APD Chief Mew: New task force to tackle violent drug-related crimes in Anchorage

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 29, 17:45

    Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew has announced the creation of a special task force designed to crack down on activities that have led to the recent string of shootings in Anchorage since the new year. During a press conference, Mew explained the task force will be compiled of officers currently on staff with APD in […]

  • News

    AK National Guard: Pilot of missing plane found, taken to hospital

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 16:28

    The pilot of a plane that went missing Wednesday has been found and transported to a Soldotna hospital, according to Alaska Air National Guard officials. The pilot was located at Lake Chakachamna, west of Anchorage, less than a day after being reported missing. The Alaska Air National Guard accepted the search mission after the Alaska […]

  • Crime

    Troopers seize estimated $67K of meth from Wasilla man

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 16:18

    Alaska State Troopers seized almost half a kilogram of methamphetamine from a 30-year-old Wasilla man who was stopped for a traffic violation early Thursday morning in Wasilla. Around 2 a.m., authorities arrested Johnnylee Burk for third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, four counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and for violating his conditions of […]

  • News

    ConocoPhillips slows Greater Moose’s Tooth development

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 13:26

    Permitting delays and current oil prices have ConocoPhillips slowing down on potentially investing $900 million in a project that would mark the first oil production from federal lands in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The oil company announced Thursday that it would slow the pace of investment on the Greater Moose’s Tooth, located in the northeastern part of […]

  • DayBreak

    Month-long bike fest kicks off Thursday night

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 29, 12:26

    Winter Bike Fest 2015 kicks off Thursday night in Anchorage. It is hosted by Bike Anchorage, which is calling on cyclists of all stripes to get involved. Thursday morning on Daybreak, Steve Cleary with Bike Anchorage joined James and Megan on the couch discuss what the festival is all about and why it is important […]

  • News

    Mental health system failing Valley youth, foundation says

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 29, 11:55

    The Mat-Su Health Foundation says youth in the Mat-Su Valley are resorting to self-harm because of a lack of mental health services. “The data was so shocking, our consultant group on this work was the McDowell Group, that we actually held a special meeting with our emergency department folks to make sure there wasn’t some […]

  • News

    Former Wasilla mayor appointed to fisheries commission

    by Associated Press on Jan 29, 11:24

    A former Wasilla mayor will help regulate participation in Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Grace Jang, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Walker, said Verne Rupright was appointed to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Jan. 20. The three-member body decides who can participate in limited entry fisheries and adjudicates appeals. Jang wrote in an email that Rupright was […]