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Battle of the Browsers, Internet Dominance and Why Your Choice Matters!


The internet is an ever changing landscape the creates long term evolutions in the way we think, act, work and play. Every so often a milestone takes place that has great significance. A very recent change that took place was that Google Chrome displaced the Internet Explore as the number one browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer held the reins for 14+ years. Now a Microsoft rival and Internet corporate giant has taken the lead. In this article I will tell you why this is an important milestone in our lives. I will also share with you some of the features which I believe explain why Chrome is now number one and why the Internet Explorer has fallen behind. Read on and learn why we are in the Google Chrome era.

Battle of the Browser Giants!
Browser-wars
Browser-wars (Photo credit: _redheat)
I clearly remember Bill Gates stating that the Internet was a passing fad in its early years. Back then Netscape rose to the top of the browser wars even though you had to buy it. Microsoft was one of the first companies to offer its browser for free. This eventually led to the Internet Explorers 14 year reign as the dominant player. Microsoft accomplished this by giving away its browser as part of their operating system. It took Microsoft several years to displace Netscape because in the beginning it had an inferior product and free was not enough to make people give up Netscape. However once the Internet Explorer reached par on features the war was over. It's worth noting that Microsoft was sued for its monopolistic practices during this time frame. It lost that lawsuit and had to pay millions in fines. In the meantime, AOL (another corporate giant) buys Netscape and then dismantles it. Some believe AOL’s purchased Netscape to be used as a bargaining chip with Microsoft to reduce their dependency on the Internet Explorer. Regardless of the reason, AOL’s eventual dismantling of Netscape lead to the creation of the Mozilla project that has spawned Firefox and other web applications today. This all started in 1998.

Why is This Important?
It’s important because whoever “owns your eyes” as you use the internet directly affects how you use the internet itself. It’s also important because Chrome was born in this environment that year. Its heritage started with Netscape and in part, to the code from the Mozilla project.  A browser's functionality directly affects how a website will look and feel to the user. A programmer designs websites prim
eye of the beholder
eye of the beholder (Photo credit: limowreck666)
arily for whatever the dominant platform is at that point in time. Yes, they will tweak their website so they generally work with most browsers, but often they will have to make compromises to make sure the dominant platforms needs are met. It’s also important because whoever controls the majority of Internet properties also feed the majority of users what they see. So in essence, the general population is always in danger of being swayed (i.e. censored) by whomever the dominant player is. In the early days the dominant players were kept in check by somewhat of opposing forces. First it was Yahoo and Netscape, then it became the Internet Explorer and Yahoo, then Internet Explorer and Google and now, it’s just Google! I am not one of these conspiracy buff who thinks that every giant company on the planet is out to rule the world. I happen to like Google and Chrome. I am just pointing out that there is always a danger when one company controls most of any one aspects of our lives.

Why Chrome – What Propelled Them to The Top!
Chrome was launched as a free browser in September of 2008 (as a beta). It has steadily grown in features and maturity over the past14 years. Today, Chrome is still free, owns 31% of the worlds browser market (from statcounter.com) and is the dominant player on the internet. Google is one of the largest corporation’s in the world and it owns Chrome. It’s not a coincidence that Chrome has finally reached the number one position. Its parent company Google, controls 81% of the search market (from StatOwl.com) and about a 1/3 of all internet traffic as a whole. Because Google owns so many high usage internet prope
Logo used from the start of the Chrome project...
Logo used from the start of the Chrome project until March 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
rties, it has been able to learn what a user wants and in turn, incorporate those features into its now dominant browser. It can also provide massive advertising to promote Chrome since it owns the huge portion of all internet destinations. Destinations like Google Search, YouTube, Picasa, Analytics, AdWords, AdSence and a lot more essentially make it easier for Google to get users to try Chrome. On top of that, Google has started selling Chrome only notebooks, (Chrome Books). These notebook use Chrome is the operating system, which makes them low cost and fast. Nevertheless, the real reason I think Chrome has become number one is that it provides more people with the features they want. It is fast, highly customizable and integrates well with many of Google’s internet properties. In addition, since Google controls most of the internet traffic, it makes sense that their browser would eventually become number one.

My Favorite Features and Benefits!
Google Chrome touts itself as being the fastest browser on the internet. Google also states that it is feature rich and very stable. I can verify that it is fast, but so are Firefox and several other browsers.  However when compared to the Internet Explorer, the prior browser leader, it feels really fast. Internet Explorer also takes a long time to start where Chrome's start-up time is fast. Google has concentrated on making sure it’s browsers performance is top notch. Therefore, when measuring a return on this feature, Chrome’s speed is very good and makes it a top performer. You will spend a lot less time waiting for your pages to download and you will get more done in less time.

Is it Feature Rich?
As far as being feature rich, it does meet this criterion too. However, I would give the edge to Firefox for having the most plug-in’s and add-on’s. Speaking of cool features that a browser can have, Chrome has several unique native features. The first one worth mentioning is voice recognition in Google search. That’s right. If you have a laptop, cell phone, or tablet with Google Chrome, you have voice search capabilities. The second feature is how Chrome has a lot of native support for all the other Google properties and applications. This list can be extensive and include YouTube, Google+, Google Play and m
A
A "Multiplier 400 Compact Sport" Gerber multi-tool, in the open position, with all tools partially opened. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
any more. If you go to the Google Chrome store, you will find many wonderful apps that will make your Chrome browser more powerful and friendly. Again, this is also true for Firefox and other browsers but some of the implementations are better on Chrome. For example, I love a Grammar/Spelling checker called Ginger. Ginger is available for many browsers, word processing and email client platforms. Ginger provides support for MS-Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. However, its spell checker integration in Gmail on Chrome is phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong, this plug-in works well with all the programs they support. Having used the pro version of Ginger in MS-Word for quite some time, I was impressed at how seamless Gingers spelling check works in Gmail (on Chrome verse Gmail on Firefox). On the other hand, many of the pro features are not yet available on Chrome (or Gmail on Chrome) so I am not ready to give up MS-Word yet.

How does Stability Compare?
The last items is stability. Chrome is very stable, especially if you are using relatively new hardware (3 years old or newer). It also helps to be using a newer 64 bit operating system like Windows 7 or Apple latest OS. Follow these rules and you will not be disappointed. However if you’re trying to hold on to Windows XP as your operating system you may be disappointed. I have seen XP  unexpectedly reboot
Peacekeeper Benchmark Comparison (Firefox 12 v...
Peacekeeper Benchmark Comparison (Firefox 12 vs Google Chrome 18) (Photo credit: Squidooer)
when using Chrome. Microsoft is generally phasing out all support for XP and I have not seen anything that has fixed this XP/Chrome stability issue. I have not had this problem as often with Firefox or Internet Explorer on Windows XP. I have also had very few Chrome issues with Windows Vista, again it is very stable except in the oldest of systems. The good news is that new computers are cheaper and faster than ever. With Quad core Windows 7 laptops being sold for less than $400, (including tax), there are few reasons to have to keep dealing with the limitations of old systems.

In summary, Chrome is currently the number one browser used worldwide, (with Firefox and IE not too far behind). As a website owner, it is important to note which browser platform dominates the market place. These browser platforms affect your design element choices, and the final look and feel of your website. Chrome is a fast, stable, powerful and customizable browser platform that is feature rich and mature. It is my opinion that it will continue to be a dominant player in the browser wars for many years to come. One reason for holding this belief is because it is owned by Google and Google is the dominant player on the internet stage. Download and try several browsers, especially Chrome. I know you will like the voice search feature. I also think you will like its speed, versatility and its ability to use third party and Google plug-ins. You may also, as I have, choose it to be your go to browser, for now and the immediate future.
That’s my opinion, I want to hear yours.

Hector Cisneros is the director of  Social Media Marketing at W Square Media Group,  a writer and author, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, is a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows the philosophy of Givers Gain. He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of Online advertising, Business Networking and Word of Mouth marketing. He is a principle partner in W Squared Media Group and the president of Website Know How, Inc. a holding company for several of his business ventures that include online advertising, word of mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and Adventure sports. Hector's new book 60 Seconds to success, teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60 second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, Social Media, Online Marketing or Word of Mouth Marketing visit Hector's profile on EzineArticles.com  Networkers Apprentice workshop http://networkersapprentice.com or my book website at http://www.60SecondsToSuccess.com

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