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The fate of the Google toolbar
After IE is discontinued.

 11:31 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just a thought I had...
If Microsoft are indeed ceasing to make available Internet Explorer, where does this leave the future of the Google toolbar?

Call me paranoid but it seams possible that this may be one of the factors that encouraged Microsoft to reach this discision. If the new incorporated browser in new operating system does not support the toolbar, then this would surely eat into Google's market share.

Is it possible that Google may need to enter the browser market to retain it's search dominance?

Bit of a stab in the dark but now anything seams possible.


edit typo

[edited by: mack at 12:05 am (utc) on July 15, 2003]



 11:50 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)


stupid post


 12:07 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

mack, I have had this same thought. Everyone except M$/MSN benefits by being able to add a toolbar to the IE browser. M$ gets no value and the biggest winner is Google.

Now with M$ starting it's own search engine, would you keep giving that advantage to your direct competitors?

Second, if the new IE browser is completely assimilated into the OS -- do you really want to have a third party toolbar with active reporting (advanced option) hooked directly into your computer's operating system? I think not.

M$ will call it a security improvement. My prediction is you will not be able to add a toolbar to the new IE browser when it comes out. The other good part is that the scumware guys won't be able to slip one in on you either.


 12:10 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

"My prediction is you will not be able to add a toolbar to the new IE browser when it comes out"

Exactly, now that could be big!

It would be interestig to know how what percentage of Google searches originate from the toolbar as oposed to the main google sites.



 12:53 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

The answer? Tel people who want to search Google from the browser to get a new browser ;)

If it's that important to people, then this would help Opera and Mozilla.


 1:14 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here is the thing. M$ fears, or should fear that Google toolbar for two reasons: searching from it but also that PR indicator.

M$ will attempt to kill that advantage off and plug a security hole to boot. M$ will try to redefine the playing field.

I've said this already, if I were Google I would be using Mozilla core engine to develop a Google browser complete with a PR indicator.


 1:25 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can see it: Opera press release:)

Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GGLE), a leading global Search engine company and Opera Software ASA (Nasdaq:OPRA ) a leader in browser technology, today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Opera.


 2:40 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Interesting points, all. Just a bit of a coincidence, Opera has a new "advanced" Google search feature in their v7.20 beta - it's called Google "Quick Search."

"Google" is the default search (search box just to the right of an Opera window's address bar). The "Google Quick Search" works like this: type a search word or phrase into the search box, wait a few seconds, and the titles and urls of the first page results appear in a drop down menu. No need to actually leave the page to do a "quick search". Clever.

Besides being kind of neat (and handy!), it also makes you realize just how important "first page results" and "descriptive titles" can be. It DOES make for quick searches, though in truth, it will never replace an actual Google serp. But!---it does indicate that Opera understands the popularity of Google---and, it may bode well for future Opera/Google implementations.

There just may be another Google Toolbar option in the works....

Opera has already shown definite shrewdness in enabling previously "IE only" elements such as Custom CSS Scrollbars (available Opera 7.0) and now support for the <marquee>scroll droll</marquee> element (Opera 7.20b1). It would only make sense for the Opera folk to offer enhanced Google options. I have a feeling there is much more to come.


 9:22 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Why just search with Google when you can now surf with Google too! Introducing the new Google Browser..."


 12:21 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

papabear ... Hester this is some dynamite stuff.

I could see Opera working out a deal with Google that would rattle some cages. Adwords instead of banners on the free version? A PR bar. I think it could be good for both. The big issues would be security concerns for Opera. But as you point out -- Opera, actually, understands what people see in Google

One advantage Moz would have is cross platform operation. Moz actually is usable on Win, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms which would be a big plus.

For either rendering engine that PR bar might be the killer application that makes people switch to something other than IE.


 12:43 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've thought about this on and off for a while 'meself, in fact in the infamous 'Ask Googleguy' thread that's exactly what I did - can't remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of 'Have G ever thought of developing a browser, the medium being the message and all that?'

How likely a tie-in with Opera would be is dubious, but that Adwords in place of the current sponsored banners is a cute thought.

Taking it further, if G were to launch an email service, as several have suggested, then a front-end UI onto G services would look tempting, and it's a small step from there to a fully-fledged browser. Geo-targetting and profile marketing a-go-go.

But, there's the battlements of apathy, ineptitude and fear of the unknown to storm. How they gonna' get that browser out there? No IE browser hook into the Windows userbase, how will G get/keep Windows users who will, 'til that place freezes over, never move away from the installed browser in any significant numbers?

AOL style coasters combined with the largest advertising blitz ever ... 'let Google manage your online life' ..., a tie-in in with Dell/Compaq/HP to have their browser installed on new boxes, what?

Nah, they're just gonna have to cut a deal with Redmond. Or they'll buy 'em.

Rant, dribble, fantasise, dowsing, tea-leaves a speciality ...


 1:12 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let me try to return tothe original question on the impact of a no-toolbar environment on Google. I think it will be minimal, anyone knowledgeable and motivated enough to download the toolbar should have no difficulty getting to the main Google.


 1:19 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I agree that the impact may not be earth-shattering, but I'm not sure that the subsequent threads above are that off-topic in that the 'fate of the Google toolbar' may just be that it becomes the 'Google browser'


 1:25 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Um, people could just use Mozilla's Googlebar [googlebar.mozdev.org] instead?


 1:34 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

But its missing pagerank... the most important feature in my opinion.


 1:57 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just a thought I had...

Hey mack, sure you didn't read it last month in the Google Toolbar forum?

This is old news. I started a thread about it last month entitled, "New Windows OS = Demise of Google Toolbar" in the Google Toolbar forum on June 25th, [webmasterworld.com ]:

We all know that MS is doing away with IE as a standalone product in order to integrate browsing into the desktop. But a big implication of this is that there may no longer be a place to hang your toolbar.

Furthermore, since nobody's mentioned it yet, according to sources close to Microsoft, the new Longhorn browser will have a built-in Microsoft toolbar tied to Microsoft's search engine.

[edited by: martinibuster at 1:58 pm (utc) on July 15, 2003]


 1:58 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Steady on here folks...whilst many don't like the monopoly M$ has on many markets, the direction of the thread seems to indicate a leaning towards a Google search monopoly...enough of us already moan about that as it is!

FWIW, I think that M$ want the direction of it's browsers to be more "app-integratible" and that's why they're taking it away from stand-alone.

With all the battles they've fought, I don't honestly believe they'll want to stomache another several years in litigation, and yes, whilst the default set-up will probably be a "Search M$N" feature, I don't believe it will be a locked feature and in all probability, I can see even more options becomming available to add-in-providers such as Google's toolbar.


 2:00 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi thewhippinpost,

read my post above. There won't be options, despite what you may believe.

the new Longhorn browser will have a built-in Microsoft toolbar tied to Microsoft's search engine.


 2:02 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Page rank is apparently a proprietary feature [googlebar.mozdev.org] of the MSIE version. Of course, if it's a feature owned by Google, all they have to do if they are worried about Microsoft is to allow the Moz Googlebar folks to use their property. ...


 2:26 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Martinbuster

There won't be options, despite what you may believe.

the new Longhorn browser will have a built-in Microsoft toolbar tied to Microsoft's search engine.

Well, that's not the same as saying it won't be an option.

I'll dance naked around my hat-stand on top of Mt Everest if M$ are stupid enough to go against the (expensive) court order they agreed to comply with by locking out all access to the browser engine.

Now that doesn't mean that anyone will be able to modify M$s' own browser per se, it might be that others are free to use the engine to develop their own flavours.

It's all if's & but's and conjecture right now but one thing's certain, browsers are gonna be a different animal in future, and my (other) guess is it's to do with the 2nd phase of the .NET rollout.


 2:47 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Bring a webcam with you to Everest! ;)

I understand your point, and I guess we won't know for sure until 2005ish unless MS clarifies the issue themselves. For now we can only come to a few conclusions and make conjectures on the rest because of the small amount of data that has been released.

In regard to your excellent point about the court injunction, I think MS may be getting around the issue by eliminating the browser altogether- i.e. there will be nothing to share.

This is what I meant by my statement back in June [webmasterworld.com], "that there may no longer be a place to hang your toolbar."

No IE. No Browser. Only a seamlessly integrated desktop.

[edited by: martinibuster at 3:36 pm (utc) on July 15, 2003]


 3:11 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Browser? You mean Windows Browser ComponentTM :)


 3:18 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Be sure to bring a webcam with you to Everest! ;)
A site to behold, truly - Subscription-only, framed in me own custom-made browser ;)

I think you put up the wrong link there Martinbuster - It goes to a list "Highlighted posts".

I think MS may be getting around the issue by eliminating the browser altogether

I too came to a similar conclusion when I first heard of the news I have to say, and it might be with complete merit, that's why I've sort of come to the default oppinion that in order to comply with the court order - as I understand it - they'll have to provide full 3rd party access to the browser engine.

If they're smart, they won't release that engine code until near, or after the release date, giving them a lead in the market - That's just business and one can't blame them for that.

The worst-case scenario is that we'll need several different browsers to perform different tasks if they won't allow any bolt-ons to be added to the generic OS-shipped browser - That would be counter-productive for sure.

They've got something up their sleeve though and you can bet there'll be a compelling reason to "upgrade"


 3:54 pm on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think a partnership between Opera and Google would be a great step forward.

Fast browser with all the features currently available with the IE toolbar. For me the only reason I still use IE is for the google bar. The amount of publisity this would bring to opera would be great for the company.


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