Computerworld - Sony Corp.'s recent agreement to pre-install Google Inc.'s Chrome on its Vaio line of PCs could mark the start of a renewed push by the search leader to boost its browser business.
The move comes about a year after Google debuted the Chrome browser to great fanfare but then failed to meet the initial expectations of analysts.
"From the outside, the thought last year was that Google would push Chrome a lot more than it has," said Gartner Inc. analyst Ray Valdes, who had expected Chrome to have more than its current 2.9% share of the browser market a year after its launch last September.
"But with this deal, Google is signaling to the market and to competitors that it's taking a more traditional approach to marketing Chrome," he added. "Call it the Microsoftian approach to the market."
A Google spokesman said the company is exploring how to get Chrome on even more PCs.
Sheri McLeish, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said the move represents a change in strategy for Google, because such deals are "a really fast-track way to grow market share."
McLeish called the Sony agreement a milestone because Google was able to convince the PC maker that its browser is a legitimate contender against Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firefox.
"To get the deal done, I'm sure Chrome had to go through some rigorous technical testing to make sure it was a viable browser," McLeish said. "It could pose tremendous risk to Sony if, for example, Chrome wasn't secure enough for consumers."
Valdes and McLeish both said that Google faces an uphill battle against Microsoft in the browser business even with the Sony deal. One barrier is IE's market share, which Web metrics firm Net Applications puts at 66.6%.
"In terms of real market adoption, [the Sony deal isn't] going to have a tremendous impact," Valdes said. "You can't make a frontal assault [on IE], not these days."
Any potential IE rival faces serious hurdles in the enterprise market, the analysts noted, since businesses are loath to switch their workers to a different browser.
This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It's an edited version of an article that first appeared on Computerworld.com.
Read more about Networking in Computerworld's Networking Topic Center.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Improving Business Value of WAN Optimization Want to achieve faster ROI with WAN optimization? Read the latest IDC report and discover how you can cut IT costs without compromising...
- Four Little-Known Ways WAN Optimization Can Benefit Your Organization Read this white paper to learn how far WAN optimization has come, and how to make this most of your investments by using...
- IDC ROI Infographic Trends such as evolving communication patterns, connection types, applications and bandwidth can have an impact on enterprise organizations. Learn how IT organizations can...
- Live Webcast IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to... All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!