Mobile Threatens Browser Diversity

As it stands, consumers can freely choose between four or five browsers to surf the Web. Yet, some suggest that the rise of mobile devices threatens such freedom. “On personal computers running Windows, Macs, and Linux, you can pick from a variety of browsers, finding the best combination of user interface, performance, expansion, customization, and other attributes,” CNet explains. “But on a host of devices ranging from today's iPhones to tomorrow's Windows RT tablets, though, things are very different.”

The notion that the browser is a feature of the operating system -- “an idea Microsoft floated to defend against an antitrust attack in the 1990s regarding the link between Internet Explorer and Windows,” CNet recalls -- is again gaining steam. While many of the newer devices will technically accommodate other browsers besides those that come with the operating system, those third-party browsers won't always get the full privileges and thus power of the built-in browser.

What’s at stake? The very fabric of the Web, Johnathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox engineering, tells CNet. "Today's Web is the product of strong browser competition on performance, stability, and feature set," he says.


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1 comment about "Mobile Threatens Browser Diversity".
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  1. Lijo Joseph from Beeby Clark, May 24, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.

    Diversity might be slowly creeping into the mobile browser world with the recent announcement of Axis HTML5 based browser from Yahoo. With the app universe becoming increasingly crowded & phone screen real estate getting larger, mobile browsers and mobile websites are likely to gain more traction over mobile apps. This is good for consumers who since it will eliminate the need for several publisher apps on your mobile smartphone phone. Simply load the publishers mobile sites when you feel like consuming content from a specific publisher. HTML5 might be the winner after all. The next few quarters will bring really interesting changes in mobile media landscape.