How did Microsoft (MSFT) win the browser wars of the 90s and have its own Internet Explorer (IE) browser supplant once-dominant Netscape? Mostly by bundling IE with Windows and making it the default browser for new computers sold.
Now Google (GOOG) may be trying to do the same with its Chrome browser: The company tells the Times (UK) it’s thinking about deals with PC makers to pre-install Chrome on new computers. Also, we finally get a timeframe for a Chrome port to the Mac and Linux: First half of next year.
We briefly worried that Chrome, currently with less than a one-per cent market share and only half-hearted marketing, may become more Google abandonware like the recently canned Lively. That no longer appears to be the case.
Of course, Google’s success will depend on what kind of PC makers it can ink deals with. Chrome might be especially useful on netbooks, so Asus would be an easy target. But a deal with HP (HPQ) or Dell (DELL) would be a lot more helpful than, say, Samsung.
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