The following video is part of our “Motley Fool Conversations” series, in which Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Phillips and senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker discuss topics across the investing world.
Microsoft continues its inexorable decline in the browser wars. Certain studies are now showing Chrome has passed Internet Explorer. Given enough time, it’s a veritable certainty Chrome will become the dominant browser. As Eric explains, Chrome’s winning in and of itself doesn’t mean a whole lot for Google investors. The point of Chrome was to push forward the progress of the Web as the browser came out at a time when Microsoft hadn’t updated Internet Explorer in a historically long period. Whether or not Chrome continues racking up market share, the company has forced Microsoft from its inaction and into supporting a browser which enables many of the next-generation features Google desired.
Looking longer term, Eric compares the browser wars to a larger trend: the inability to determine value from a new technology platform. Initially, investors believed ISPs like AOL would be insanely valuable, but that turned out to be false. Likewise, Microsoft fought for its browser to be dominant while initially ignoring search. History has told us that browsers ended up being of little value while search emerged as a huge industry. Likewise, Facebook just IPO’d to huge multiples on the promise of a huge user base. In this video, Eric discusses how the inability to forecast the value of fledgling platforms could be an ominous sign for Facebook.
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