Google’s move to confront the Chinese government over the censorship of its search results is looking shrewder by the day. It has succeeded in mending some of the damage to its reputation caused by its original entry into China, it’s given a huge boost to the morale of thousands of Google staff who were never happy defending that decision, and it’s moved the spotlight onto its rivals’ China policies.
But it could also prove a decisive moment for the fortunes of its Chrome browser. Miocrosoft has admitted that there is a vulnerability in its Internet Explorer browser, which was apparently used by the Chinese hackers who launched an assault on Google and other companies. The German and French governments have both responded by advising their citizens to avoid Internet Explorer.
This terrible piece of PR for Microsoft comes just as the IE browser which had almost total control of the market starts to come under pressure – not just from the open-source Mozilla Firefox, but from Google’s Chrome.