Q 2. There are loads of browsers - why did Google bother?

People wondered in 2008 why Google had created a browser, since they already had such a sizeable share in Mozilla’s Firefox, by virtue of the deal Google had made to have Google search as the default engine in every Firefox browser (a deal today worth $300 million a year to Mozilla.)

The young engineers who worked on the Google browser explained Google’s thinking, evangelically: “Why is Google building a browser? For how much the web has evolved, browsers, as a platform, haven’t evolved that much. What we are trying to do with Chrome is to make sure the browsers are really evolving along with the web, so the web can evolve to the next level.” So, the decision to launch Chrome was because the internet had changed. It was no longer the text-rich network it had been, but was becoming dynamic, visual and interactive in new ways which the Google browser would handle better than its competitors. They hoped to produce a product that would be faster, more reliable and more stable than existing browsers, and they developed Chrome with some radical changes to how browsers work.

But there was good commercial thinking behind the launch of Chrome. One of the main reasons Google wanted to be a browser provider was to break Microsoft’s monopoly on their IE browser - in September 2008 (according to statcounter.com) Internet Explorer accounted for 67% of desktop and mobile browser usage, compared to just over 1% for Google Chrome. Today’s figures from the same stats show Chrome at 37.09% with IE trailing at 29.82% coverage. Microsoft’s days of internet and systems domination were at an end.