when Google comes for your liver

Cringely thinks that The Google’s motivation to do Chrome is fear that that Microsoft will turn off ads in IE:

Microsoft can do pretty much whatever it wants in this area. There is plenty of browser competition. They can hobble their own product if they like, though it would drive users away from IE — from a product that brings Microsoft no direct revenue anyway — so what’s the risk?

Microsoft turns off the ads in IE and what happens? Google takes a huge revenue hit, is knocked down three pegs in the eyes of Wall Street, while pretty much nothing happens to Microsoft, which would have just shown the world who is still the sheriff.

I am not saying this is going to happen, but I AM saying that it COULD happen — and that very remote possibility is, by itself, enough to make Google have to produce its own browser.

This is a fun premise for a potboiler, but M$ wouldn’t do it because it would drive developers into Apple’s arms, and Apple is coming on very strong.

I imagine that the best reason to do Chrome is in the finance, though I don’t have the data on where that is in their balance sheet. But, for example, Google pays big bucks to companies that sell PCs to pre-install Google Desktop aka Gadgets. I imagine this is overall for strategic reasons and not for day to day revenues. However once those thingies are pre-installed there are a lot of revenue opportunities. Firefox makes a living on search referral fees from Google, and Google is losing that money by having Firefox pre-installed with Desktop rather than Chrome. The major expense for Google is probably paying for distribution rather than developing the browser, so given that they’re already laying down the money, why not send the user into a Google property?

But whatever. IMO this is Goog jumping the shark, but so what. I realize that I am totally on my own in this. A lone voice in the wilderness. A guy with a battery powered megaphone reading out the old testament on a busy street. Just remember you heard it hear first when Google comes for your liver.

One thought on “when Google comes for your liver

  1. Also: Microsoft’s financial foundation is in business dependence on Office (and Exchange / Outlook, and Sharepoint)–even more so than Windows. Google is competing against this directly with Google Apps / Docs (and Gmail, etc.). So, Google having a browser optimized to make it’s own Apps “even more better” than Office would pay for itself. Even more better means, in the business context, something like: offline access, configuration for security policies, group / collaboration features, portability (across desktops) and mobile integration.

    The open source aspect of Chrome also would drive similar optimizations in Safari and Firefox. Ultimately, one could imagine some significant percent of Office income going to pay for Google Apps for business use on Chrome / Safari / Firefox. And, then, independence from Office also means, in many cases, freedom from Windows, too.

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