Living on the Edge Chromium browser

[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

This week at Ignite, Microsoft announced the final release of their Edge Chromium browser would be mid-January next year. But I’ve been living with this browser since June, and while I was initially impressed, it has gotten even better over time. (I expect many of you have yet to try this browser out, so here’s the link to the preview of the browser.)

Along with this announcement was news of some other interesting aspects of this browser, which uniquely blends Google and Microsoft technology into something we haven’t seen in some time –  effectively a co-developed product by two vendors who have been competing for nearly two decades, often vigorously. But both vendors embrace open source and the idea of collaborating to address big problems. So while both vendors started very differently, they are increasingly looking more and more alike.

Admit it: The browser wars were stupid

If you were around in the 1990s, you lived through the so-called browser wars, where Microsoft and Netscape decided to fight to the death, and Microsoft won a Pyrrhic victory, taking over the segment for a time. A Pyrrhic victory is one where the cost of winning is as great or greater than the cost of losing, and while Netscape failed as a company, Microsoft was nearly broken up due to their anti-competitive behavior. Nothing Microsoft did to hurt Netscape actually worked, but that didn’t lessen the penalties which ran into the billions, created a huge drag on the company in terms of oversight and almost forced the breakup of the firm.

Both companies focused on each other, and were late to realize that the real battle was for content and ad dollars. Google caught them both napping and replaced Netscape while becoming a far stronger competitor to Microsoft.

This competitive stupidity wasn’t just tied to Netscape and Microsoft, either. At that point in time at least, Netscape should have evolved to become Google, Yahoo focused so much on Google they missed their evolution to Facebook, and IBM got so focused on Microsoft and Sun that they missed the pivot that created AWS. And finally, AOL got so focused on Microsoft they missed becoming Facebook or Twitter. A lot of these firms aren’t around anymore as a result.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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