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Will Google Chrome continue its dominance in the browser market?

MISM
Carnegie Mellon University
December 14, 2012

Ishaan Viegas

Abstract:
The newest browser on the market has definitely acquired instant favoritism and is counting! Google Chrome, launched in late 2008 has made a remarkable position for itself in the last 4 years. Chrome is a free, open source browser developed by Google Inc. and has grasped the maximum browser usage. The top players in market such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox stand as Chrome’s competitors along with Opera and Apple Safari. My paper attempts to answer the question: Will Google Chrome continue its dominance in the browser market? I’ve tried to analyze this question keeping in mind Google’s launching, its recent developments and it’s work further with the aid of concepts like market envelopment, lock-in, and cross-side network effects and so on. Google moved into the browser market recently and gained instant success. If it continues on this note and steadily gains market share for Chrome we will soon witness platform envelopment in the browser market. The browser market is a two sided market comprising of developers and end users. The browser then should satiate the browsing needs of both parties involved as a high cross-side networking effect is present here. This paper tries to assess how Google and its competitors view this issue and the steps they take to win the race. The paper assesses the rise of a novice browser against the decline of a more experienced one. Technology is becoming pervasive and the world is accepting only the best. Demands are increasing and Google’s penetration in the market to satisfy these demands is largely conspicuous. The paper attempts to derive the most suitable conclusion based on the history of various browsers, strategies employed to remain in the market and the further steps taken as to which browser now will continue its dominance in the market.

History of Web Browsers:
Web browsers date back to the mid 80’s. However, there has been a rapid growth in the usage of web browsers since the mid 90’s. Web browsers today are a default component in computers as internet has become a necessity rather than just a communication tool. Internet has become a mass medium as everyone uses it. Locations, regions, age-groups, dialect are not barriers to access the internet. A browser today has taken a far leap from what it first was. Browsers are no more used only for surfing. Browsers modified themselves to the demands of people and did much more. A typical web browser today holds all private data on a personal computer, bookmarks important websites and remembers them, stores links of every single page opened, renders news updates when configured just once , has in-built games, applications and various entertainment tools. Speed and security have become of utmost importance when it comes to accessing the internet. People want a secure browser which works with celerity. The browser is become a flagship product for most organizations who ride on the success of this tool and are exploring more. The major browsers in the market as of now are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Opera. Netscape Navigator: 

This was a proprietary web browser popular in the 1990s. It was the flagship product of the Netscape Communications Corporation and for a long time Netscape enjoyed a large browser market with respect to usage share, although by 2002 its usage had almost disappeared. Netscape Navigator declined in usage from 80% in 1995 to around 18% in 2001. Netscape Navigator was then displaced by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and finally was dismissed from the market scenario when Netscape Communications was bought by AOL who continued to provide support to Netscape Navigator for a brief period of time.

Microsoft Internet Explorer:
The first version of Microsoft Internet Explorer made...
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