Feeds

Zona says MS browser war victor: Oops! Another monopoly…

Stop me before I monopolise again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

MS on Trial With exquisite timing, Zona Research has announced the end of the browser wars. Microsoft won, and a dead-pan Zona says there's no need to carry on chasing market share stats. But being declared the victor is hardly going to be an unalloyed pleasure for Microsoft. The company took flak for many things in Judge Jackson's findings of fact on Friday, but the section on Microsoft's campaigns against Netscape is particularly long and comprehensive. The good judge is of the opinion that Microsoft set out to hunt Netscape out of the browser market, and systematically eliminated it from distribution channels. So when Zona says Microsoft's IE chalked up a 64 per cent score as the primary browser of choice in October, against 36 per cent for Navigator, you can't help sub-consciously adding "and that's because..." Zona says that corporate browser policy has been an important factor in narrowing the market from nine browsers four years ago to two now. Today 73 per cent of companies have policies, with 69 per cent of them specifying IE and 31 per cent Navigator. At this point it's worth reprising Zona's report from a year ago. Then there was a clear difference between individual users, 60 per cent of whom preferred Netscape, and corporates - 54 per cent of those with a policy specified IE. Netscape's share of user hearts and minds was then up on the previous month. Today, Zona says: "We are witnessing a shift away from the importance of the browser technology to the content on the Internet. It is not surprising that the two dominant browser vendors now play a significant role in the burgeoning content marketplace. The question is how will the content war play itself out?" That is, the browser has become irrelevant, it's merging into the background. But how it got merged into the background is a matter for the judge. Here's what Zona said a year ago: "We see from this study that 84 per cent of IE in use as the primary browser is policy-driven. We believe this significant increase [in IE's share] is largely due to the fact that IE 4.0 is an integral part of Windows 98, that Microsoft has continued to make inroads in the corporate marketplace, and numerous distribution agreements with service providers and other software vendors." That is, Microsoft has succeeded by integrating the browser, thus making IE a no-brainer choice for customers, and by sewing up the other distribution channels via contra deals. Which we believe is what the judge said. Oh dear. ® Complete Register Trial coverage

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?