Once upon a time there was a company called Netscape.
It was the king of browsers. The old ‘throbbing N’ of the Netscape browser is fondly remembered by those of us who
where were, ahem, there at the time.
Netscape reached market highs in the 90s because it was the first browser, ever. As other internet browsing software emerged, Netscape had a cunning distribution strategy that saw it embedded within the AOL browser, also a dominant player at the time. Netscape and AOL ruled the internet.
Then, AOL did a deal with Microsoft to distribute its fledgling browser, Internet Explorer. Microsoft also bundled its browser into the Windows operating system.
Netscape wasn’t just a casualty in the first browser war. It was delivered a fatal blow. It was simply destroyed by the sheer market size of Microsoft.
Then, for a long time after, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the browser. Many users did not know there were other options out there. They simply trusted and used what came with Windows.
Microsoft got comfortable.
Enter another gorilla-like player into the market, Google.
From day one, Google Chrome had the spirit of innovation and creation embedded into it. It actively encouraged developers and entrepreneurs to push the boundaries of what was possible within a web browser.
In four short years, Google Chrome has clocked up 410 million users.
Will Microsoft fight back? Can it fight back? Or will it go the way of Netscape.