the commoditisation of browsers

One thing you often see in business is a new company produces a product, which is great, but because its the first, its not the best thing since sliced bread.

A bit of time passes, then… another company brings out a competing product, with some better features. The first company responds and the arms race begins!

After a while, all the consumers have their needs met, and so new features are not very compelling to the marketplace. So the companies start competing on other things, customer service and the like, and finally, in the death throes of the market, on price. The product has become a commodity.

Like web browsers. Sure, web browsers have mainly been ‘free’ (unless you count IE!), and netscape/MS/mozilla/apple/google et al, have been competing on features. A new ‘better’, more secure, faster, etc way to browse.

I contend, no one really cares anymore. The browser is a commodity. In the past few months, I have used, IE 6, IE 7, Safari 3, Safari 4, Firefox 2 and 3, and Google Chrome. Now the IEs arent fabulous, but its not going to kill me. Everything else? Pretty much indistinguishable. I flip with wanton promiscuity between Firefox and Safari, and scarcely know I’ve changed. Everything kinda works. I don’t care anymore. Does anyone?

Browser market is dead. đŸ™‚

the commoditisation of browsers

2 thoughts on “the commoditisation of browsers

  1. Yep. For a while pop up blocking and tabbed browsing were important for me in Firefox, but now I think they all do that, even IE. I’m interested in the new high performance java script engine in the next Firefox as it will allow quite complex applications to run in the browser. I think that will have some interesting implications in the medium term as more software moves from installed applications to web pages.

  2. Mm, I think Firefox might be going to get killed by Chrome. Chrome is meant to have a flash javascript engine, I think some of the top Firefox guys are working on Chrome… MS doesnt care about spending money on IE, Google seem to be quite focussed on chrome to combat AIR/Silverlight etc.

    I suspect firefox will be one of the first victims of the commoditisation.

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