After two years of development Google is launching their new Web browser to compete with Internet Explorer. Someone should build a website that lists Microsoft products and which product lines Google has not yet entered. In fact, there’s probably one out there already. From there we can get a pretty good idea of their product road map. Is Xbox next?
A recent article stated that Mozilla’s Firefox has a 20% share of the browser market as compared to Explorer at 77% or so. There is no doubt that Microsoft’s share will decrease, but the tradeoff might be worth it. Since Microsoft crushed Netscape Navigator, Microsoft has had to be cautious with how and what they build into a Web browser in order to avoid any further bad PR or actual government intervention. But now that Google is becoming a competitor, Microsoft has the ability to integrate search and other features in a much more dramatic way then they have before.
The best chance Microsoft has at taking search market share from Google is if it can convince users to search outside of visiting Google.com. By making search a more natural activity, i.e. through some enhanced browser integration, the search competition might become more interesting. The Google and Yahoo toolbars have pretty significant penetration, but I think the way users search will evolve in years to come from where we are today, and perhaps the browser will play a greater role in that.