Text / Sina Technology
Year 2008,MicrosoftIE browsers accounted for 60% of the market share, and on December 2 of this year, Google launched a new Chrome browser, which only occupied 0.3% of the market.
In 2008, Li Kaifu, the president of Google Greater China, once said that "the most important thing on the PC is not the operating system, but the browser", which proves the importance of the browser in the PC era.
Ten years later, Chrome has dominated the browser space, accounting for nearly 70% of the market.Chrome, a former browser bronze player, is already a king and has become a janitor of the Internet.
Chrome: Redefining the browser
▲ "Slow" IE becomes a slap
The pattern of the Internet in 2008 is very different from the current one. Because of Microsoft's stagnation and the limitations of Internet Explorer, Google has the opportunity to create a brand new operating system for the Internet. In 2008, the iPhone was released less than a year ago.Windows7 Just a few months after its release, IE is still the most popular web browser in the world.
Not long after the birth of the iPhone, the prelude to the mobile Internet era has just played, the App has not yet entered the mainstream, and the website is still the way people interact with the Internet.
The website has been changing rapidly, but the browser has not kept pace with development. The IE browser in 1998 is basically the same as the IE browser in 2008. Google saw this potential opportunity in the Web 2.0 era.
On December 2, 2008, Google officially released a beta version of Google Chrome. GooLGe also made a comic to explain why it is a browser.
From 2005 to 2006, Google dug a group of people from Microsoft, Netscape, and Firefox to develop a Chrome browser, a brand new browser.
The technical challenge of developing a new browser from scratch is huge, but it also gives the Chrome team an advantage:They don't have to think about compatibility with older versions like IE and Firefox.
Chrome takes "fast" as the first product featureFrom birth to now, Chrome has been in an absolute lead in various speed tests. It is not easy to do this fast. It benefits from Google's long-term technical accumulation.
Sometimes you will find that the first time you log in to a web page is very slow, but then you can enter it in the address bar, which will be much faster. This is because Chrome preloads this page based on historical browsing history and security judgments about the page.
Chrome’s goal is to be a browser that never crashes. But as a web browser, you can't avoid problematic web pages that you write yourself. In order for the crashed page to not affect other pages,Chrome uses a technology called "sandbox." Let each tab run in a separate process.Of course, there is a price to pay for it. Chrome has been a memory killer since its inception.
▲Chrome Egg: Broken Net Dinosaur Game
Unlike IE,Chrome's user interface is simple, refreshing and very clean.The first version of Chrome came out, giving everyone a "fresh" feeling.
The first time I opened Chrome, I was faced with a simple and succinct interface, and I couldn’t even feel it. There is no menu bar, no status area, no title bar, that is, in the Chrome browser, you can't even name its own name "Chrome", because Google thinks the title bar is wasting space, simply don't Instead, there is a practical tab bar with only three tool buttons: forward, back, refresh/stop, plus the address bar, which is all.
The advantage of this design is that it provides maximum visibility for browsing the web. Concise, this highest design principle, not only in the interface, in the browser settings, there are very few menu items, there are also few options for modifying settings, for most people, there is no need to care about those Settings.
▲Chrome has always maintained a minimalist design
Many people become Chrome's loyalty or because of itPowerful scalability, Chrome browser has a powerful third-party plugin library, you can continue to add new features to the browser. Take the new tab page for example. We can beautify it by extending the program, and it can be turned into a utility such as a to-do list. In addition to some extensions can remove web ads, compare prices to major e-commerce platforms, and so on.
Since the plugin is completely user-selected, it won't make the browser look bloated because it integrates too many features.
▲Chrome App Store
Before the advent of Chrome, IE's poor security made Microsoft a bit ugly. Although it continued to introduce new security patches, it has already been labeled "unsafe" in the minds of users. So at the time of development, ChromePut safety and stability in a very important position.With excellent sandbox mechanism, plug-in security, JIT hardening, address space layout randomization and other features, it has achieved good results in many security tests.
Of course, there is another major factor in Chrome's popularity:Google’s brand is endorsed.Google also recommended users to download the Chrome browser on their homepage.
In short, in the past ten years, Chrome has had such a high market share in the world, and it relies more on its experience. According to a high-vote answer, it is: "Not slow, not ugly, not annoying."
Open source Chromium
For the Chrome browser, the role of openness can not be underestimated, although Chrome itself is not open source, but it has open sourced many of the sub-modules it contains. One of the core Chromium is a huge open source project, and the Chrome browser is based on the open source Chromium project. The domestic browsers are basically developed on the basis of Chromium, and the development cost required is greatly reduced.
Google's Chromium open source is a very correct decision.
Today, Chrome's performance is seven times faster than it was just four years ago, and the new code was developed and shared with the world. Once a problem is encountered, developers around the world will immediately discover it.
As the Chrome browser dominates, it becomes a standard. Increased Google’s influence and voice in promoting and developing Web platform standards.We no longer need Chrome?
Ten years later, Chrome has become the most widely used browser in the world. Although the importance of browsers has been greatly reduced in the mobile era, browsers have affected the way we access the Internet to some extent. This makes Google a "gatekeeper" for web portals on the mobile and desktop.
Chrome is no longer just a simple browser, because it is also used in Google's open source system Chrome OS. Google has also been committed to the advancement of the Web, and Chromium has gained a lot of attention in the open source ecosystem and is often used as the basis for other browsers and applications. There is no doubt that this is significant for the unification of Web standards.
More importantly, in 2018, Microsoft also chose to embrace Chromium and announced the creation of a new version of Edge based on Chromium.
Chromium's two main rivals are Safari and Firefox, which together account for about 21% of usage. The use of Chrome has been growing slowly and steadily for many years. Even with Edge using Chromium, this number is likely to increase.
▲2008 - 2019 Web browser market share, data from StatCounter
The history of the browser indicates thatIf a single browser dominates the market, it is likely to have a negative chain reaction.
When the entire network is based on a browser engine, developers are likely to ignore other browsers without considering cross-compatibility in other browsers.
When Microsoft's IE browser market share reached about 95%, a large number of Internet companies proudly announced that their website "best in IE", even to the point where it does not support other browsers at all.
When the market is big, you can't push the browser vendor to follow the standards and rules, they can do whatever they want.
If everyone uses a browser from the same vendor, then the vendor can access each person's user data and more. This is not without foundation, and many people think of the past.Google has a big problem dealing with user privacy issues.
Successful companies take advantage of their competitive edge, and Chrome is no exception. In 2018, Chrome released the 10th anniversary edition, but was exposed to the "black material" about privacy. First, cookies that use Google Chrome to view Google pages cannot be deleted; the other is to automatically log in to Chrome using an account using Google services.
Google is a commercial company, a company that pursues profit maximization, and ultimately they are responsible to shareholders rather than users. The main business of Google’s revenue source is advertising, which is closely related to search engines.
“Without healthy and healthy competition, any platform that claims to be open will eventually be firmly controlled by a single company in some form”There is a user who is opposed to the Chrome family. They even believe that Chrome should accept antitrust investigations.
Google is under the banner of "it is open source, how can we be bad?" We have not seen a precedent: although Android is open source, in the Western market, if there is a lack of Google services and Google Apps, it is no different from a brick.
Google has also done a very good thing in this regard: anyone can develop a Chrome browser, but if you want to play video in a browser, you must first obtain the Widevine patent DRM plugin from Google.
Chrome has been available for more than 10 years. The browser has changed a lot, how will they evolve over the next 10 years?
Maybe we will once again welcome a browser war, but as long as Google remains innovative and embraces a changing attitude, Chrome is likely to still be the winner.
What do you think about the future browser market?
Main reference link:
Chromium and the browser monoculture problem, Ken Bellows, dev.to
We Need Chrome No More, Reda Lemeden, redalemeden.com
Google Chrome, the perfect antitrust villain? Alex, alexdanco.com