Google Chrome poses no threat to established web browsers

Google's surprise launch of its...

Google's surprise launch of its first web browser will increase competition, but is unlikely to pose any real threat to any of the established players.

Google claims that Chrome is more stable and secure, faster and easier to use than existing products.

Google's positioning suggests the new browser is specifically aimed at Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), which has been criticised for weaknesses in these areas in the past.

IE's failings have helped open source Firefox gain market share, but IE still has strong support and is unlikely to lose that simply because there is another open source alternative available.

Firefox itself is being named as another potential casualty. Open source supporters are critical of Google for threatening Firefox's position by fragmenting the market.

David Mitchell, senior vice-president of IT Research at Ovum, says the criticisms levelled against Google are reminiscent of the way Sun Microsystems was criticised for open sourcing its Solaris operating system.

Some people feel Google should have supported Firefox against IE just as they felt Sun should have supported Linux against Windows, he says.

"This is a bogus argument, because there is enough space for more competition."

Chrome, therefore, is unlikely to spark any browser wars any time soon as predicted by some, particularly as it is still "far from done" by Google's own admission.

However, it does mean an immediate increase in choice, which always means a better end result for users.

It will be only a matter of time before Chrome leads to innovation in IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera as it begins to chip away at each one's share of the market.

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