enigma1 - 2:29 pm on Dec 3, 2011 (gmt 0)
Right now, they are not because as you said they don't know it. But that doesn't mean companies behind browsers can't "help" them realize it because they open their browsers first. (Although google with chrome is one of them).
Since online search has become so profitable, any browser could release its next version with a browser search page displayed by default. And could connect to whatever data centers they want or agree to behind the scenes. Users will try it for sure, if they like the results they will stick to it.
Something like this will create a completely different level of competition.