Sony is set to start distributing Google Chrome as the default broswer on all their PCs this year. This is the first browser distribution agreement that Google has reached with any major consumer and is figured to help raise the profile of Chrome, which is actually a pretty good browser.

I find it it interesting that Google and Sony would enter this kind of agreement though. Google has complained loudly over the years about Microsoft “forcing’ customers to use Internet Explorer because it is bundled with windows. I find it ironic that Google would now enter into a similar type of deal.

Can this type of deal work? Sure it can, it only raises to expose Chrome to more and more users, which is certainly a good thing. My guess is, though, that it won’t do much to really phase the market penetration that Firefox and IE already dominate in. If I’m just an average user who bought a new Sony Vaio (which says enough about me as a consumer already, gag) am I’m going to be smart enough to even know what Chrome is? Probably not, I’m just going to continue using IE, because that is all I know.

On the other hand, if there was ever a time to try and steal some market share, it does seem like now is the time. ZDnet reports that IE had the biggest drop in market share last month since 2008, a 1.1% drop in July alone. In fact, Chrome is gaining on Safari and has rapidly done well in the year since it first launched. Here is the break-down of market share:

Internet Explorer: 66.6%
Mozilla Firefox: 23.3%
Apple Safari: 4.1%
Google Chrome: 2.9%
Opera: 2.1%

So, clearly IE is still the huge market leader, I don’t expect that to change any time soon. However, with more exposure and bundling packages like this one with Sony, Chrome could make some inroads pretty quickly.

For the records, I actually prefer Safari, even on the PC. It has the smoothest interface and it’s really really fast. Firefox has all sorts of nice extensions, but I seem to have tons of crashing errors and it gets bogged down sometimes.


Google and Sony Sign Deal