Game over: Browser 'market' is gone, Zona says

Internet browser competition is over, and Microsoft is the winner, with Netscape Communications a distant second, declared Zona Research.

The research firm has issued its final browser study and will no longer follow browser competition. Zona first conducted browser market studies in January 1996, when there were nine players on the browser frontier battling for a slice of a $US200 million market. Today, two are dominant players for a zero dollar market, officials said. In the final study of 236 respondents, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was the primary browser choice for 64 per cent of the respondents while 36 per cent of the respondents indicated Navigator.

One reason for the fallout is that a growing number of companies have adopted browser policies. Some 73per cent of companies, up from 69 per cent in April 1999, have a policy requiring all departments to use the same browser. Of companies with such policies, 69 per cent dictate the use of IE while 31per cent require the use of Navigator.

Since July 1998, no other browser has been named as part of a corporate browser policy.

"We are witnessing a shift away from the importance of the browser technology to the content on the Internet," said Clay Ryder, vice president and chief analyst at Zona, in a statement. "It is not surprising that the two dominant browser vendors now play a significant role in the burgeoning content marketplace."

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