Briefs updates on search, with implications

by: David Jackson

- Robin Good estimates that non-Microsoft browsers now have 30% share of the browser market  (Firefox has 20%), and that by the end of '05 Internet Explorer will no longer be the browser of choice for the majority of Internet users.

Anecdotal data point illustrating how Firefox is becoming mainstream: For the second time, Walter Mossberg has written  (paid subscription required) about Firefox in the WSJ, and recommends that all IE users switch to Firefox.
Stock relevance:
positive for Google, but see Frank Hecker's comment below.
Emerging trend:
If PC use a few years from now is mainly Firefox, Mozilla email, Apple
iTunes (then iLife?) and Web-based applications, there will be no need
for Windows. It'll be cheaper to buy a Linux-based PC, with no
sacrifice in the way the applications look or function. Microsoft needs
to get on top of this.

- Google's new Sponsored Links Search allows you to search by keyword for paid ads only.
Of note:
The growing availability of tools for advertisers and publishers makes
the Web more transparent, and (unintentionally) provides useful
research tools for investors and competitors.

- Guardian Online claims that Typepad has unseated Blogger (owned by Google) as the blogging platform of choice.
Typepad owner Six Apart will be acquired by Yahoo. (More on that another time.)

- Susan Mernit writes: CrossMedia Services reports a 43% increase in holiday shoppers who used the web to price check items before shopping in the mall.
Trend: shopping search/comparison increasingly used for offline purchases, not just online.
tock relevance: positive for all the search stocks.