Google Advertises Firefox to IE Users

Most web developers agree that Firefox is a superior browser to Internet Explorer, but how do we get non-technical users to give it a try? Well… what if Google told them to?

Starting today, Internet Explorer users based in the United States who visit google.com will be greeted by the very first ad for a 3rd party product to appear on the page:

Firefox on google.com

“Firefox with Google Toolbar: tabbed browsing, safer surfing” reads the ad. Granted, Google has a vested interest in promoting its toolbar, but the fact that it chose to do so with the Firefox browser (rather than continuing to push the IE version) is a huge coup.

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  • MRoderick

    Fantastic news!!!

    If Google can get more people to convert to a modern browser, my work will become so much easier.

  • whyulil

    If Google can get more people to convert to a modern browser, my work will become so much easier.

    unless your a tech support for an isp, erm, afraid not, but if your a web designer more of your users would see it the same way as you. Test on IE 5 no matter what! there are still people on win 98 who have no idea about upgrading.

    Less of the “it works fine on mine” attitude please (just stiring, heh heh).

    but yes it is fantastic news! less people with spyware on their macines is good for everybody.

  • http://www.whitespace-interactive.co.uk mammoo

    Now if only they made the Google toolbar for Firefox as good as the IE one!

  • Tinu

    That’s really interesting – I actually saw this in my Internet Explorer Beta of IE7 about a month ago. I thought all IE users saw it.

  • http://boyohazard.net Octal

    If Google can get more people to convert to a modern browser, my work will become so much easier.

    Amen.

  • http://www.lowter.com charmedlover

    This is pretty awesome. I am also glad they are not feeding me that crap in Opera. However, maybe this will win a few more IE converts to a real browser.

  • babyboy808

    Hoooray for google :)

  • Gator99

    If Google can get more people to convert to a modern browser, my work will become so much easier.

    Firefox is gaining popularity, but this has nothing to do with making anything easier, you still have to design for two main browsers.

    This “browser/search” competition will probably lead to Microsoft doing something “anti-Google” in their next browser or os update.

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  • big j

    This “browser/search” competition will probably lead to Microsoft doing something “anti-Google” in their next browser or os update.

    already happens, just hasn’t been anti-google, right now it’s just all the MSN products are everywhere on your machine and after every SP update it all gets put back to the way it was before.

    I’m glad google is doing this. And google isn’t really being anti-MS about it.

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  • http://as-if-by-magic.com Tygger2512

    What saddens me is that there are still somethings I have to use IE to perform. Some sites with JavaScript don’t work in Firefox. I click on the JavaScript links and nothing happens until I open the same site in Internet Explorer. Also, my Linksys Router has a browser interface for its configuration that will not load in Firefox.

    Firefox is an awesome browser, and I’m happy I made the switch so long ago. Having to use IE to view certain web sites just reminds me of how inferior it is in comparison.

  • Anonymous

    get ie tab, it allows u to open tabs embedded in ie instead of firefox

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  • linkin99

    I love this. There are still far too many users who don’t know that Firefox is the far superior browser.

  • http://www.realityedge.com.au mrsmiley

    I love it how Google put that “Make Google your search engine in Internet Explorer” when a) I have the Google toolbar and b) Google is set to my default search engine with the built in search in IE7. Makes me wonder how they managed to stuff that up.

  • Anonymous

    This is totally awesome news. Wasy to go google.

  • http://ian.sundermedia.com TheLunchBox

    This is cool, I’m glad Firefox is getting more recognition for “average” web users.

    I think one of the reasons that Firefox hasn’t caught on is that for most web users, like my Mom, things like better CSS support and browser extensions don’t mean anything. Hopefully thing like this will encourage some browser diversity.

  • id="omg"

    Tygger2512 – Firefox is an awesome browser, and I’m happy I made the switch so long ago. Having to use IE to view certain web sites just reminds me of how inferior it is in comparison.

    How is it inferior when people for IE and not all major browsers? If people design properly then there’s no good reason for it not to work in browsers other than IE… which is in no way superior.

  • id="omg"

    oh yes and GREAT news, it wont make my job easier but the more people using a proper modern browser, be it Opera, Safari or Firefox etc…the better!

  • Anonymous

    Great…. Not only does Google have way too much control over information, but now they’re trying to control what browser people use? Why not just automatically download a Google browser, a Google operating system, and a Google office suite onto anyone computer accessing google.com? Oh, and fry any non-Google processor and destroy any non-Google monitor while it’s at it. If Microsoft was doing half the things Google has, there’d be a public uproar and a mob marching on Redmond. But because it’s Google, not Microsoft, it’s really cool.

  • Markandey Singh

    Great news. by the way any how we should switch to non-microsoft browser because

    It keeps Microsoft from controlling the future of the internet

    .

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  • Ace

    Eh well, any move away from an unsafe browser, is a good move.

  • Anonymous

    Firefox is only safer because less people use it so less people try to exploit it. As soon as its popularity increases and a larger percentage of people are using it, the attacks will start coming at Firefox users as much as they have been at IE users for so long.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/ Kevin Yank

    Firefox is only safer because less people use it so less people try to exploit it. As soon as its popularity increases and a larger percentage of people are using it, the attacks will start coming at Firefox users as much as they have been at IE users for so long.

    Were that true, Apache web servers (which make up over 70% of servers as of November 2005) would suffer from a much greater number of successful attacks as compared to Microsoft IIS servers. But according to many independent studies Apache has by far the better track record for security.

    Note especially point two of that essay: “Windows sites are disproportionately defaced more often than explained by its market share.” Why? Because the source code of open source software is available for public scrutiny and review. In the absence of security by obscurity, open source software must be secure by design.