Digital Marketing News Update – Google Chrome, Ofcom Report and Google Patent Rows


Google Chrome browser becomes second largest in UK

This week Google Chrome became our second most popular browser overtaking Firefox and Safari. Although the browser currently holds only 22% of users compared with Internet Explorer’s 45% it’s still a strong position to be in considering it’s only three years old.

The rise is attributed partly to the speed of the browser and the improved experience this brings for users, claiming it results in more time being spent online. And considering IE is preloaded onto almost any computer purchased in the UK, it’s clear that users are voting with their feet and choosing to replace the existing browser with a new one. Getting users to convert from one product to another is a hard thing to do and makes Chrome’s success all the more profound.

But for those of you who do use IE, it appears that the research claiming you have a lower IQ than people who use alternatives was in fact an elaborate hoax, much to the dismay of the numerous well respected news agencies who reported on it. Although having said that, continuing to use a product when there is a quicker, slicker, more secure version only a few clicks away does seem a little puzzling.


Smartphones on the increase

A recent Ofcom report has shown a third of all adults now own a smartphone and we mainly use them to send and receive email. For adults the most popular choice is the iPhone (of course) and for kids they preferred the Blackberry, (although I suspect this is because it’s cheaper rather than better.)

The rise in smartphones has seen a dramatic increase in mobile internet use with Facebook topping the charts with an astounding 43 million hours spent on it in December last year.

Ofcom also analysed the differences in how adults and teenagers use their smartphones and produced a nifty little graphic.

Ofcom mobile internet statistics


However the report also highlights the ever present gulf in the number of people online in the over 75 age group. While 90% of 35-44 year olds have internet at home, this drops to only 26% in the over 75s. This is also reflected in the number of people owning a mobile phone, 99% compared to 51%. However just over half of the 65-74 age group is now online for the first time and this number is steadily increasing.

The report goes into a lot of detail as you’d expect and there are some really interesting findings. You can access the full report on Ofcom’s website.



Google patent row is hotting up

Poor Google seem to be suffering from being the last one to arrive at the party and finding all the good food has been eaten. Google has recently come out claiming that Apple and Microsoft have formed an alliance specifically designed to wage a “hostile, organized campaign” against the internet giant’ mobile system.

David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer stated in a blog post that it was Google’s success that had driven to two companies to join forces and freeze their competitor out of the game.

Google’s biggest issue has come over several lost patent rows over technology needed to improve its mobile offering. It claims Apple and Microsoft have been busy buying up patents and refusing to sell licenses to Google in an attempt to halt it’s development of technology that might threaten their own products.

Google attempted to address the balance by bidding for Nortel’s patent portfolio but were outbid by a consortium which included Apple and Microsoft. This was a big loss for Google as not only did they lose out on some crucial patents but losing them to their rivals must have really stung. And although Google has a fair amount of loose change to throw around, it’s no match for the combined resources which result from its competitors banding together.

It’s understandable why Google is feeling frustrated by what it sees as a deliberate block in its ability to innovate around new technology. Given that many companies are happy to issue licenses but Apple and Microsoft are refusing point blank does seem to indicate they feel allowing Google to use them could lead to a direct threat being posed by Android.

It’s a tough one to call really as it’s understandable that a company wouldn’t sell something to a company that would be a direct threat to their product. But then again patents are supposed to protect companies and drive innovation, blocking Google in this way appears to be going against this.

You can read Google’s full rant on their blog


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