• 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

  • Sports

    Official 2015 Iditarod race order

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 05, 23:37

    The field is set for the 43rd running of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The mushers met Thursday night at the annual Iditarod Banquet in downtown Anchorage. They mingled with fans, signed autographs and took photos inside a crowded Dena’ina Convention Center. First out of the gate will be rookie musher Rob Cooke and bringing […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage couple cooks up marijuana business

    by Shannon Ballard on Mar 05, 23:08

    It’s hard to go wrong with a simple brownie recipe. Chelsea Deming says she grew up in the kitchen. When she got together with her boyfriend, Derek Herre, she began adding one more special ingredient to her recipes — marijuana. “He realized that would be a good way for him to medicate without having to smoke,” […]

  • News

    Child struck by vehicle in East Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 05, 22:53

    A child riding a bicycle was struck by a vehicle Thursday night near the intersection of East 20th Avenue and Aleutian Street. Anchorage police say a call regarding the incident was received just before 10 p.m. A vehicle traveling eastbound on Aleutian St. struck the child, who was not wearing a helmet, according to APD Sgt. […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, March 5

    by KTVA Weather on Mar 05, 20:29

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound The Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound forecast calls for increasing chance of rain turning to light snow overnight.   Southeast The Southeast forecast calls for rain showers to the north and just a chance of rain from Petersburg south.   Interior/North Slope Interior locations will have cloudy skies and light […]

  • News

    Boston Marathon bombing survivor writes letter to Tsarnaev

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Mar 05, 19:53

    Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory says it took nearly two years, but she is no longer afraid of the man accused in the attack, CBS station WBZ-TV reports. Rebekah lost a leg in the bombings and was among the first witnesses to testifyagainst Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday. To Rebekah, the written letter is not a lost art. […]

  • News

    Suspect in U.S. ambassador attack well-known to police

    by CBS News/Associated Press on Mar 05, 19:47

    The man named as the assailant in a knife attack that injured the U.S. ambassador to South Korea was well-known among police and activists as one of a hard-core group of protesters willing to use violence to highlight their causes. Purported U.S. interference in Korean affairs appeared to be the main grievance of Kim Ki-jong, 55, who […]

  • News

    University sends out climate survey on sexual assault

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 05, 19:44

    The University of Alaska is asking some very personal questions of more than 15,000 students, staff and faculty. The so-called “Climate Survey” was sent out by email on Monday to students at every campus around the state. The anonymous survey asks specific questions about whether the recipients have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault on […]

  • News

    After years with SeaLife Center, beloved Steller sea lion dies

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 05, 17:25

    A 21-year-old Steller sea lion that was a favorite among staff and visitors has died following complications with bone degeneration, the Alaska SeaLife Center announced. Sugar was humanely euthanized Wednesday, the Seward facility said in a press release. Because of her age, veterinarians had been monitoring her health. She had not previously displayed signs of […]