Laptop and PC manufacturer Sony says it will ship the Google Chrome browser pre-installed on Sony PCs from this summer.
The deal is the first of its kind since Google launched Chrome, last year. Chrome still lags behind competitors Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer despite claims from Google in December that over 10 million people had downloaded its browser.
‘Users’ response to Google Chrome has been outstanding, and we’re continuing to explore ways to make Chrome accessible to even more people. We are in the process of testing one such channel with Sony,’ said a spokesperson for Google.
However, the announcement is unlikely to make a significant impact on Google’s overall market share, according to Paul Jackson, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research: ‘It is bound to increase Google’s share – but given that browsers are free and most PCs end up with multiple browsers, its unlikely to add whole percentage points of share to Chrome,’ he said.
The timing of the announcement comes as Microsoft is already planning to offer a choice of browser in Europe when it releases of its upcoming operating system, Windows 7.
‘Consumers will have this choice, but only on new Win 7 PCs. So the announcement has a fairly limited window, but shows more of a position rather than something which is a unique selling point’, said Jackson.
Google introduced the Chrome browser in September 2008 but still trails behind Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. In August Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8 had a combined market share of 39.3% compared to Firefox’s 47.4%, according to W3schools. Google Chrome has a 7% share putting it ahead of Apple Safari (3.3%) and Opera (2.1%).
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