Can Google Chrome topple IE?

Paul Boag

Without a doubt the biggest story of the week is that Google has launched its own browser called Chrome. At the moment the browser is only available for windows although a mac and linux will follow shortly.

The launch of Chrome has generated huge publicity and I am sure you are already aware of its emphasis on stability, speed and support for web applications. You probably know too that it is built on webkit so CSS support is good.

The question is whether we will need to start testing our sites in Chrome? Well, take has been strong with figures rising up from 1% to over 6% shortly after launch. But is Chrome going to finally overcome the dominance of Internet Explorer or just cannibalise the market share of IE’s rivals? That is harder to judge.

The browser that finally topples IE will not do so because of quality, but because of brand recognition. If IE was going to fall because of its poor feature set or dodgy rendering it would have done so already. The problem is that most people are quite happy to use IE. It is pre-installed and ready to go. Indeed many simply associate the web with that little blue E.

Sure, other browsers have made remarkable inroads into IE’s market share. However, they have probably pushed as far as they can go. The rest of the market are those people that just don’t care. They know IE, they are familiar with IE. Why change?

Extract from the Google Chrome comic

However, if anybody is going to change that status quo it will be Google. Although many associate that IE icon with the internet, when they click on it they go to the Google homepage. Google has as dominate brand, maybe even more so than Microsoft. If anybody can pursued the hold outs to swap, it is Google.

Google has a huge profile. Never have I seen a browser featured on BBC national news, but today they mentioned the launch of Chrome. They also have a lot of eye balls and with Chrome featured on their minimalist homepage you can expect downloads to go through the roof.

Who knows if they will pull it off. What I do know is that this will certainly be damaging for other browsers especially Firefox which has been heavily backed by Google.