La guerre des navigateurs

PRINCETON – Dix ans après sa naissance, Google menace de relancer la “guerre des navigateurs” des années 1990, époque où l’Internet Explorer de Microsoft a éliminé son rival, le Navigator de Netscape. Cette fois c’est Google Chrome qui promet de transformer l’économie de toute l’industrie des logiciels, et pas seulement grâce à son innovation technique de connexion de différents types de logiciels à un navigateur Internet. En réussissant cela, il supprime la nécessité de programmes comme Windows, qui contrôlent l’accès à toutes les sortes de logiciels.

La nouvelle technologie de Google est impressionnante, et s’avérera sans doute pratique pour de nombreux consommateurs une fois les problèmes de sécurités initiaux résolus. Mais l’innovation fondamentale est ailleurs. Si Google Chrome est une véritable avancée, c’est parce qu’il permet d’aborder de façon totalement nouvelle le dilemme induit par les lois sur la concurrence des deux principales juridictions mondiales, les États-Unis et l’Union européenne.

Entre 1995 et 1997 Explorer a presque complètement éradiqué Navigator, alors que ce dernier avait initialement ouvert la Toile à la majorité des utilisateurs et que sa position dominante semblait inébranlable. Le principal avantage d’Explorer n’était pas tellement technique, il résidait dans le fait que le Windows de Microsoft fournissait le système d’exploitation à l’écrasante majorité des ordinateurs. Par conséquent, un navigateur Internet – et, d’ailleurs, d’autres logiciels média – pouvait être intégré à la structure de Windows dans le cadre d’un package de logiciels.

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