Is a second wave of world Browser Wars heading our way?…

… Maybe. Although this time it will be more complex.

IE and FireFox are the dominant incumbents and Google’s Chrome is the rising super-power. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll see there are more potential players in the battle for world domination.

Are we heading for a second wave of browser wars?

Are we heading for a second wave of browser wars?

“The issue that lies ahead is whether browsers will remain a relatively simple window on to the internet or become intelligent agents that shape online experiences. If they go down the latter route this would have potentially disruptive effects for others who do business on the internet”, said Alexis Pratsides of MintTwist Digital.

For the internet’s booming social networking industry in particular, the prospect that some of the capabilities associated with social networking will be embedded into browsers, making them more aware of users’ interests and social relationships, could force difficult strategic decisions.

Google’s main contribution to the browser skirmishes we’ve seen thus far has been an obsession with speed. With a new, faster engine for executing Javascript – the code that makes it possible for a browser to imitate applications that run on a PC – Google galvanised the rest of the industry and forced rivals to focus harder on their own core technology.

Google’s goal, as it takes on Microsoft, is clear – to accelerate the advances in the internet platform in ways that eventually make it unnecessary to run “native” software applications that rely on a PC’s underlying operating system. That, ultimately, should benefit the web-based services on which its success depends.

Others, however, see deeper potential in the browser and are out to push its capabilities further. As a piece of software that all users have to use – it clearly has a strong strategic position.

For instance, Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, says it is looking into arming its browser with a number of extra munitions – such as ‘knowing who you are and handling authentication on the websites you visit, keeping a record of your social network so that you can interact with friends; and, making it easier for you to share content with your network.

Given that these are all territories that social networks like Facebook currently view as their own, that could create new fronts opening up between browser makers and the internet services that rely on them.

If it makes life easier for internet users, bringing more capabilities into the browser will be hard to resist and populations of internet users may start to migrate away from using artificial silos [like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn].

This has attracted a flurry of interest and investment in browsers from the social networking big guns. The potential for “social browsers” is a currently a hot topic in Silicon Valley.

The internet industry has long nurtured a feeling of mutual growth and co-operation; but there’s a growing evidence that the time may be coming for players to choose sides, ready themselves and prepare for war!

MintTwist help medium sized product and service based businesses to increase revenue and sales leads by defeating their enemies on the battlefields of the internet with better web design and web marketing services. Contact Alexis Pratsides for more information.

3 thoughts on “Is a second wave of world Browser Wars heading our way?…

  1. One browser that has incorporated all of your social networking sites for at least the last five years and is streets ahead on this is Flock. http://www.flock.com Trouble is because its run by a very small outfit, they have to rely on users ‘spreading the word’ as it were which explains why hardly anyone knows of its existance. this is a shame as it works brilliantly in bringing all of your social world together in one place.

  2. It’s about time that IE has some competition. This will be good for the web design and development industry all around – as long as there is fair competition. Once people start to use browsers that are more standards compliant, it will become less expensive to develop websites and web applications, plus new ways for how the Internet can be used will emerge. With this emerging model of the Internet as a software platform, costs of software development will also fall because developers will only need to target one platform that can run on any operating system and device type – whether it be a desktop PC, mobile phone, games console, DVD player or TV.

  3. Internet users are definitely becoming more browser savvy and it will definitely be led by the social networking generation. Who knows, perhaps they’ll drag some of the larger, lazier IT departments still lagging behind with IE6 into the 21st century… here’s hoping!

    I think there’s still some way to go with regard to our broadband infrastructure before fully remote software could be a reliable and truly fast option though.

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