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Schmidt: Chrome A "Defensive" Move

In an interview with the Financial Times, Google CEO Eric Schmidt says that the company's decision to move into the browser market was partly a defensive move against Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer has a commanding 76% usage share. "Microsoft has a history of favoring its own applications and I can give you 500,000 pages of court testimony, document web blogs and so forth and so on about that," Schmidt said after conceding that, "there is a defensive component" to Google's decision to build Chrome, its new Web browser.

Schmidt pointed to Microsoft's now-famous defeat of browser-maker Netscape, which ultimately led to a U.S. antitrust investigation. "We think that the browser continues to be an important platform; that the browser wars of 10 years ago were right: the browser matters."

Schmidt also conceded that for years, Google chose to stay away from the browser market. "The thing that changed in the past couple of years ... is that people started building powerful applications on top of browsers and the browsers that were out there, in particular in Explorer, were not up to the task of running complex applications," he said.

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