• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: This Aces season will be the last - Read More
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

  • Lifestyle

    State notes increase in newborns suffering from mothers’ opioid use during pregnancy

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 23, 10:33

    A new report from the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) says the rate of newborns exposed to opiates during pregnancy is on the rise. Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) typically begin manifesting within 24 hours of birth, according to the DHSS report, although it may take as long as a week. “NAS […]

  • News

    Chugiak High bans Confederate flag

    by Associated Press on Feb 23, 10:07

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An Anchorage-area school has banned the display of the Confederate flag after some students posed with a version of the flag for photos inside the school. The Alaska Star reports that Chugiak High School Principal David Legg sent an email to parents Tuesday banning the flag from the school. Legg says […]

  • News

    Lawmakers renew push for drilling in Alaska wildlife refuge

    by Associated Press on Feb 23, 8:34

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Petroleum drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was not a consideration under President Barack Obama, but it’s getting renewed attention under the new administration. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other members of the state’s congressional delegation are pushing legislation to allow drilling in the coastal plain of the refuge. Congress […]

  • Sports

    It’s official: This Aces season will be the last

    by Dave Goldman on Feb 23, 8:02

    After nearly three decades as a hockey staple in the 49th state, the Alaska Aces will cease operations at the end of this season. The announcement was made Thursday. BREAKING: The Alaska Aces will cease operations at the end of the 2016/17 season. pic.twitter.com/aUjom3uMO6 — Alaska Aces (@AlaskaAces) February 23, 2017 Last Friday, through multiple […]

  • News

    After open-heart surgery, Alaska babies try to lead ‘normal’ lives

    by Sierra Starks on Feb 22, 22:21

    Hearing their 3-year-old son splashing in the pool is a harmonious sound to Adriana Fischer and Damon Hampel. “The pool was really a lifesaver for him,” says Fischer. Malachi Hampel was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which simply means he’s missing the left side of his heart. “The left ventricle is the workhorse of […]

  • News

    Efforts to fill $15-million budget gap mean big cuts in the Anchorage School District

    by Shannon Ballard on Feb 22, 20:12

    “We have trimmed any of the fat that was in our budget, but now we are cutting into bone.” Like each of her fellow board members, Anchorage School Board president Tam Agosti-Gisler voted on Tuesday to approve next year’s money-saving budget, which eliminates 123 full time jobs, including 99 teaching positions. “Fortunately, many of those […]

  • News

    Alaskans work out to end veteran suicide

    by John Thain on Feb 22, 19:15

    A special workout took place on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday in an effort to raise awareness for suicide and depression. On average, 22 of our nation’s veterans take their own lives every day, according to Active Heroes. This workout, organized by 907 Crossfit, aims to get people together and put the issue out in the […]

  • Stunning space discovery: 7 Earth-size planets found orbiting dwarf star

    by William Harwood / CBS News on Feb 22, 19:00

    Astronomers have discovered seven roughly Earth-size planets very close to a cool dwarf star some 39 light-years from Earth, including three orbiting in the star’s habitable zone where liquid water, a key ingredient for life as it’s known on Earth, could be present, researchers announced Wednesday. The record-setting star system is the first to feature […]