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Thursday, September 23, 2004
Google to fight Microsoft with own browser?

While Microsoft may fancy capturing some of Google's search action for itself, Google could well be taking an opposite tack and trying to steal a march on Redmond's dominance of the browser world.

Having poached some of the brains behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to the New York Post, speculation is mounting that following the launch of its own brand email, Gmail, the next logical step for the search giant to bring out its own browser.

Especially when the registered holder of Gbrowser.com is one Google.com, which bought the domain name in April of this year and has the rights to the URL until April 2006.

Now could be a good time for Google to throw itself into the browser bundle. It's already proved it can carry the Google name into the applications arena with Gmail and has laid the browser foundations with the appearance of its toolbar.

The competition, too, is having a bit of a battering. A small one, admittedly, but not insignificant - Microsoft's IE has seen its market share drop by one per cent in recent months as users shuffle away towards alternative browsers for reasons including security.

Mozilla's Firefox is already enjoying an upsurge in popularity, having been downloaded over a million times since its release.

Rumours about a Google browser have been doing the rounds for years already with some search watchers suggesting Google might team up with one of the open-source crowd for its browser push.

James Governor, a principal analyst at Red Monk, said that he would be surprised if Google was not working on browser technologies. He does not think it will create a new proprietary browser. Instead, he expects Google to build on Mozilla, the open-source browser.

This potential strategy is supported by the fact that Google hosted the Mozilla Developer Day on its campus last month, where programmers worked on improvements to the browser.

Google, however, remains quiet on the browser potential, and declined to comment.

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