Wow – It’s getting nasty.
Google is now paying you $1 for every user Internet Explorer user you convert to the Firefox browser. This is consistent with Google’s strategies as it works towards weakening Microsoft’s chance of using IE to take a shot at fortifying its virtual monopoly through the web browser. People have long speculated that Google would develop its own browser. This move seems indicate otherwise. That said, the move should help encourage ongoing development of the Firefox browser and Google themselves may get actively involved in that development at some point in the future.
So, it’s officially WAR if you ask me. The gloves are off.
Here is the catch though, the “switchers/converts” must install the Google Toolbar for you to receive a credit and that means Google will be “watching you” and your online behaviour like they do with today’s toolbar users. Therefore switching is sort of like selling your credit card information – Google will profile you, get smarter and make it easier for themselves to sell you services.
Google’s powers are growing. It is now a public company and so it serves the Street. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, and if Google could be headed for (nearly) absolute power over the internet, then how much longer can they hold out before they are corrupted and their “don’t be evil” mantra rings hollow?