Why is Chrome Eric Schmidt’s favorite Google Product?

September 21, 2009

Why is Chrome Eric Schmidt’s favorite Google Product? Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently called Chrome out as his favorite product released recently by the company. But is that because of Chrome’s design aesthetic or because he enjoys eating Microsoft’s lunch?

When SearchEngineLand asked Schmidt which Google product he liked best, they expected a fluffy political statement. However Eric Schmidt fully admitted that Chrome is his favorite release in recent memory.

Schmidt said that he likes Google Chrome because of its elegant minimalist design. He says that it’s really hard to go back to other browsers after experiencing the Web through Chrome.

He also likens the design aesthetic of Chrome to the Google homepage when the company first started. In terms of design aesthetics, the team left out any features of Chrome that weren’t necessary to avoid distracting users from surfing.

Many Google fans were surprised at the release of Chrome last September. Google generally focuses on Web-based tools and moving functions such as word processing and spreadsheets online.

However the Web browser has continued to build a loyal following over the last year with subsequent releases. This allows Google to draw more users away from competing browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Firefox.

So how does that mean more revenue for Google? It’s all about the search engine bar in these browser that drives revenue and make their market share so lucrative for these companies.

When you download Chrome or even Firefox, the default search engine is Google. When users search the Web from their browser, Google gets the revenue and splits it with Mozilla in the case of Firefox.

However Internet Explorer comes with Microsoft’s search engine as the default, a setting which many people forget to change. So Internet Explorer reaps millions of search queries for Microsoft which Google is attempting to steal away with Chrome.

While that may not be his favorite aspect of Google Chrome, the fact that it’s taking a bite out of the competition is likely another reason that Schmidt is pushing the company’s browser.

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3 Responses to “Why is Chrome Eric Schmidt’s favorite Google Product?”

  1. Peter Kasting:

    As a Chromium developer I find your article to be both silly and slightly insulting.

    Do the math on what kind of profit Google makes on queries from the browser and you’ll see that the benefits from Google Chrome (over, for example, the deal with Firefox) are insignificant, likely not even enough to pay for the development costs.

    Google has stated repeatedly that its goal with Google Chrome is to advance the web platform and that the financial benefits it receives are due to the broad phenomenon of more people using the web for more things. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to take that at face value. Recently announced products like Google Wave are doubtless difficult to make work with IE.

    My motivation as a developer is to serve the end user best, and apparently Eric feels that the decisions made to do that have been good ones. To suggest that our motivation is raw profit from address-bar-based search queries cheapens the enormous effort we’ve put into being “as simple as possible, but no simpler”.

  2. Peter Kasting:

    Note for clarity: I don’t have hard numbers on either the income Google makes from search queries or the costs of developing the browser, but I can do back-of-the-envelope calculations based on Firefox’ marketshare and Mozilla’s publicly-stated revenue from Google. Also, my opinions are purely my own, not Google’s (though I would hope that’d be obvious).

  3. Dave Jeyes:

    @Peter

    It’s not offensive to say that CEOs like great ideas that also have income potential. And your back of the napkin math doesn’t include the income *potential* from search queries as Chrome grows.

    Your motivation might be to serve the end user, but there’s no doubt that Eric would want to monetize that effort.

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