Back when Microsoft snuck up behind Netscape and stole its crown, hardly anyone knew that there was even a playing field, let alone a game. Following all that anti-trust business, Microsoft's only major competitor was the product of a non-profit organization. Firefox is popular, it's what I'm using now, but it doesn't have what it takes to be a superpower in a browser war.
What does it take? Cash money. Many of you know that Google is the reason Firefox did so well in the first place: As far back as 2005, Google was paying major dollars to those who referred Firefox downloads that included the Google Toolbar. But Firefox never seems to have had the cash to buy its way to the PC makers' desktops. The kind of payola that puts heinous crapware on Dells, HPs and other PCs will soon be put to work in the new browser war, one where Microsoft will for the first time have a serious threat on its home turf.
As Electronista puts it, though Microsoft was long ago forced to allow other default browsers...
...these have typically been limited to Firefox and the now-defunct Netscape but will now potentially have a more commercially supported alternative that also emphasizes universal web standards, the historical weaknesses of Microsoft's browser.
The Google’s open source browser has a number of eager customers, including OEMs who can’t offer the browser until it is in full release.
Rules is rules, so you can see why, at least in this one Google product, the beta label is a major hindrance. To recap:
Browser gold status + web standards + sick payola = hot Chrome takeover strategy
All the plan lacks is a Mac-friendly version to impress all those ivory-tower newsmedia people (and MacBook totin' bloggers), and that's due sometime very soon. Stay tuned for one fierce freakin' browser war, is all I'm saying. [TechCrunch via Electronista]