This is a first: Google is placing an ad banner in their search home page. It's for their Chrome browser, and that means things are going to get nasty soon.
Google's search home page has stayed clean forever, with no clutter or advertising banners of any kind. So why did the Mountain View company break their self-imposed design rule? The obvious answer: They are using their most powerful nuke—the most popular home page in the world—to try to change the course of the Browser War. Or at least, try to grab a huge chunk of the market fast.
Google knows they need this to happen. Chrome is now one of the most important pieces in their strategy to keep their web stronghold, and it's clearly the cornerstone of their future plans to take over the incoming new computing world. A world of smart phones and new devices that will eventually replace the computer as we know it. And their smart phones will be running Android and tablets and computers running ChromeOS. They want to own the delivery medium, the hardware, the browser, and deal the content. The whole enchilada.
Chrome will now get exposed to the hundreds of millions of people who visit Google's home page every day. Many will look at the banner and, trusting the Google brand, they will download and install it. My feeling is that many will click that big thing on the top right corner, but even if it's a small percentage of visitors, the potential for change is enormous. We will see soon how effective this campaign could be, but there's one fact that can't be denied now: This is a competitive advantage that browsers like Firefox or Opera don't have. If it ends being powerful change force, Google could eventually face an anti-trust investigation like the one Microsoft faced when they used their domination of desktop operating systems to win the Browser War 1.0 against Netscape. After all, the web is the new OS and Google owns the web.
Would Mozilla whine about this now, like they did about Microsoft? Would the Department of Justice keep an eye on this? Would the European Commission order Google to place banner's for Firefox, Opera, Safari, and, o the irony, Explorer in Google's home page, alongside Chrome's?
It's too early to tell if this is part of a long term aggressive push, but I can't wait for this cluster**** to happen. It's going to be fun.
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