Chrome 16 beats Firefox and IE8 –Mozilla going Mobile and Cloud OS on Smartphones, Tablets and UltraBoooks

Ever since this bit of news relating to Google Chrome beating out Mozilla Firefox to become No.2 in the race to beat IE6 (Internet Explorer) on December 1st 2011AD in Kelroy’s article Chrome overtakes Firefox to Become World’s 2nd most Popular Browser back in December 2011AD, which I geekily refer to as the “Browser Wars”, I have been a bit troubled.

This is as since then Google Chrome OS 15 has reportedly beaten out IE8 to become the most popular Browsers globally a mere two (2) weeks later as confirmed on December 15th 2011AD by analyst StatCounter, slowly becoming my favourite analyst along with IHS iSuppli for articles.

What is to become of non-profit Mozilla Firefox’s cash-cow support of Google as the preferred default Search Engine whenever you type things into Mozilla Firefox’s Search Bar? After all, Google does pay Mozilla Firefox for this privilege!

And the Mozilla Firefox browser has several advantages over Google Chrome such as its “Do Not Track” feature, something privacy-gaffe prone Google still cannot achieve albeit Google Chrome now can play Console-quality Game titles as noted in my article Google Chrome to do Console Gaming – OnLive and Steam in the Cloudy Post-Console Era.

Pick you poison folks! I personally prefer BOTH browsers for different reasons, albeit I side heavily towards Google Chrome 16, as this latest versions print out webpages for research in PDF format and it renders Facebook’s now mandatory Timeline Profile excellently.

Whenever I receive calls while moonlighting as a CSA (Customer Service Associate) at ACS-Xerox on the account with regards to people having problems accessing their webpages, I often recommend Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox as both are fully compatible with the latest versions of JVM (Java Virtual Machine). In addition, their self updating feature makes it a better alternative to IE6, which surprisingly a lot of users in the US of A STILL use.

Go figure!! IE8 update has been out for Windows XP Professional SP3 and IE9 for Windows 7 since March 2009AD and yet very few people have upgraded their IE6.

This has resulted in Microsoft now having to forcibly get people to upgrade to IE8 on Windows XP Professional SP3 and IE9 on Windows 7 now growing in popularity as noted in my article Windows 7 trumps Windows XP for Pole Position – Windows 8 Cloudy Future, starting in Australia and Brazil in January 2012AD. An action which if successful may swing the balance of power in favour of Microsoft’s IE once more.

According to the Mozilla Foundation’s 2010 Audited Financial Statements:

  • Mozilla Firefox made US$123 million in 2010AD, an increase in revenue of over 18% from 2009AD figures
  • 98% or US$121 million is from Search Engine Royalties
  • 85% of this Search Engine Royalty, based on internet traffic usage in the Search Engine World, may be from Google

Google Chrome’s ascendance mean that increasingly, Mozilla has to start tailoring its products increasingly towards the Mobile market, which is on the rise, if the below graphic from Horace Dediu, who tracks market data on his Asymco blog showing a “brief history of personal computing platforms” is to be believed.

Truly a confirmation that Mobile is slowly overtaking the Personal Computer thanks to increased portability, the need to have computing on the go and the closing gap in the processing power of Mobile devices i.e. Tablets and smartphones when compared to bulkier Laptops and Desktop PC as noted in Are we witnessing Laptop and PC Extinction? And The Apple iPad Effect: Post PC Era Accelerant in Nine Moves.

Mozilla’s suite of products, which includes its email client Mozilla Thunderbird barely has a presence in a world increasingly going Mobile as can be seen from the below statistics relating Mobile Browser usage on smartphones and Tablets:

  • 55% for Apple’s Safari Browser
  • 20.09% for Opera Mini
  • 16.36% for Android browser
  • 0.04% for Mozilla Firefox

Clearly Mozilla has a lot of catching up to do in the Mobile World. But a new frontier awaits the Mozilla Foundation. This as Ultrabooks, currently suffering from slow sales due to a lack of aggressive pricing and compelling features aside from longer battery life and Cloud-centric Windows 8, may be looking for a competitor to the Google Chrome OS.

Additionally, they are poised for growth over the next five (5) years, with Juniper Research projecting sales three (3) times that of Tablets with 253 million units to store shelves worldwide by 2016AD. That is a market for both browsers as well as Cloud-based OS that even the Mozilla Foundation, which recently renewed its Search Engine Royalty Agreement with Google for the next three (3) years in a deal announced on 20th December 2011AD cannot ignore.

Reportedly this deal is worth around US$300 million per year, a cool US$900 million, a clear indication of the importance of Mozilla Firefox to Google’s continue popularity against the expanding juggernaut that is Facebook.

Already Google has launched the first salvo by making Search Results prefer posts on their nascent Social Network, Google+, appear in preference to searches from Facebook or Twitter in an initiative called Google Plus Search My World. A move that has drawn the ire of the Software Engineers working at Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace (wah!!? MySpace still deh bout!?)!

Of greater relevance to the Mozilla Foundation, now that Google is the Top Dog in the browser business with IE8 at No. 2 position is that Google Chrome OS can also be a Cloud-based OS for Tablets and smartphones as well. Clearly time is of the essence, as Mozilla needs to develop a Browser for the smartphone community, particularly Google Android smartphones in this the New Year 2012AD, being as Google is their partner in crime.

Clearly Mozilla Firefox needs to exercise all its options, as being just a browser alone is no longer enough in a world slowly going increasingly Mobileand Cloud Computing, a phenomenon affecting even Console Gaming as noted in my ditty Nintendo and Sony vs Smartphones and Tablets: Post – Portable Gaming Era

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.