If Microsoft used their primary product to bundle other free products they were giving away to gain market leverage Google would hoot and/or holler. Google demanded that Chrome be shown as an option in Europe when Microsoft was required to market their competitors via BrowserChoice.eu.
Yet if you visit YouTube with an old browser you can see that Google claims it isn't an advertisement, yet somehow Internet Explorer didn't make the short list.
A new version of Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer to be released Tuesday will be the first major Web browser to include a do-not-track tool that helps people keep their online habits from being monitored.
Microsoft's decision to include the tool in Internet Explorer 9 means Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are the only big providers of browsers that haven't yet declared their support for a do-no-track system in their products.
I have long been a fan of using multiple web browsers for different tasks. Perhaps the single best reason to use IE9 is that a large segment of your customer base will be using it. Check out how search is integrated into the browser and use it as a keyword research tool.
The second best reason to use it is that sending some usage data to Microsoft will allow them to improve their search relevancy to better compete with Google. As a publisher I don't care who wins in search, so much as I want the marketshare to be split more evenly, such that if Panda II comes through there is less risk to webmasters. Stable ecosystems allow aggressive investment in growth, whereas unstable ones retard it.
Speaking of Google, Michael Gray recently wrote: "They are the virtual drug dealers of the 21st century, selling ads wrapped around other people’s content, creating information polluted ghettos, and they will become the advertising equivalent of a drug lord poised to rule the web."
The problem with Google's ecosystem was not only that it was running fast and loose (hence the need for the content farm update, a problem Google created, and a solution which had major collateral damage along with some unintended consequences, while missing the folks who were public enemy #1).
Beyond that, Google recently announced the ability for you to report counterfeit products advertised in AdWords. Their profit margins are pretty fat. Why did the problem go ignored so long? Why does the solution require you to work for Google for free?
In the following video, Matt winces, as though he might have an issue with what he is saying. "We take our advertising business very seriously as well. Both our commitment to delivering the best possible audience for advertisers, and to only show ads that you really want to see." - Matt Cutts
How does this relate to Internet Explorer 9? Well let's look at what sort of ads Google is running:
I am not sure if that is legal. But even if it is, it is low brow & sleazier than Google tries to portray their brand as being.
If Microsoft did the same thing you know Google would cry. Ultimately I think Google's downfall will be them giving Microsoft carte blanche to duplicate their efforts. Microsoft has deep pockets, fat margins, and is rapidly buying search marketshare. If Microsoft can use their browser as a storefront (like Google does) they have much greater marketshare than Chrome has.
Cory Doctorow's excellent essay "Beware the spyware model of technology – its flaws are built in" is a great read & warns where the above approach leads.
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