At turn of the millennium, Microsoft Internet Explorer had decisively won the first browser war. However, in 2003, Apple put out a little afterthought of a browser, Safari, based on the open source WebKit. Now, Google’s Chrome fork of WebKit has come to dominate the browser space overall.
Here at the end of the second browser war, Microsoft has fallen and fallen hard, which is a very good thing™. Years of market leadership had made Microsoft arrogant. Now, ‘still the world’s largest software company’ must compete once again for hearts and minds in the browser space.
Less of a good thing is what’s happened to WebKit since Google Chrome dethroned IE. Last year, Google forked WebKit to create the Blink browser development platform. For a brief few months last year, Chrome, Safari and Opera were all WebKit based.
Browser Wars: Pax WebKit
Though browser development is hardly unified, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are very much the odd men out as both have fully independent codebases written for shrinking number of customers. Interestingly, Firefox and Microsoft are joining forces, in a sense, now that Mozilla has announced that Yahoo will be Firefox’s default search engine.
How’s that? Yahoo Search is powered by Microsoft Bing.
What’s it all mean? Beats me. Regardless, though Google Chrome has won the browser war part deux, browser development and the various players market machinations are still very, very interesting…
What’s your take?