Sony to ship PCs with Google Chrome browser

Google and Sony have announced a deal that will see computers in its VAIO range supplied with Google's Chrome browser pre-installed. This is the first time that Google has agreed such a deal with a major OEM. All VAIO laptops and desktops sold in the US will be supplied with the Chrome browser set to default. Sony claimed that the decision was based on the "quality and functions" of Chrome.

According to the Financial Times, Google is also in talks with other manufacturers about future deals. Google also confirmed that the first Sony VAIO PCs to feature Chrome out of the box have already gone on sale and that the arrangement was "experimental" - although didn't elaborate any further on what that meant. The announcement coincided with the browser's first birthday.

Chrome is reported to have around 30 million active users, placing it at between two and three percent market share, well behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox. Google is frustrated with what they see as a lack on interest by the majority of internet users about which browser they use, so they hope by having theirs set as the default on these PCs it will be accepted and unquestioned by the user. "Awareness is shockingly low," Brain Rakowski, the product management director for Chrome told the Financial Times. "It's absolutely a problem that people don't know what a browser is, or how to evaluate one."

However, Mr Rakowski went on to say, "It's not so important everyone uses Google Chrome, it's more important browser technology evolves as fast as it can." This shows Google's belief that Chrome is making an impact by encouraging its rivals to improve and develop their browsers and technology more quickly. For example, one of Chrome's strengths when it first launched was being a lot faster that other browsers, and its competitors have now also tried to speed their browsers up.

In the past, Google has struck deals with computer manufacturers to get their search engine set as the default in Internet Explorer and for PCs to ship with the Google Toolbar pre-installed but this is one of their first efforts to try and spread the Chrome browser to a larger audience. The company have already invested in television advertising for the product and have a deal in place where Chrome is optionally bundled with RealPlayer software.

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"and have a deal in place where Chrome is optionally bundled with RealPlayer software."
hehe good, why? no more bundled bloatadware with realplayer hehe ;)

Jeffrey89 said,
Great, even more bloatware from Sony.
I got a VAIO as a gift two years ago, full of crapware. I uninstalled most of them, but some things I left untouched.

I should have formatted and started from scratch right away.


lol true, my fathers HP laptop went alot faster and i could install latest ati graphics drivers on it after clean reinstall

Great, even more bloatware from Sony.
I got a VAIO as a gift two years ago, full of crapware. I uninstalled most of them, but some things I left untouched.

I should have formatted and started from scratch right away.

They're trying really hard to justify their move instead of saying the truth "they handed us a big bag of money."

I find absolute zilch wrong with IE8. Even though FF will remain my primary browser, I would much rather have my PC come with IE than Chrome.

Even though opinions on Chrome are mixed, it's still a hell of a lot better than Internet Explorer. Plus Chrome is more standards-compliant, which is always better for us designers and developers that curse IE on a daily basis.

Yes, let's just curse what the mainstream computer audience uses the most instead of trying to work with it and making compromises.

Your take: works the way you want it to, or displays to the largest audience. You have to pick one.

That browser sucks far to much, and as far as i'm concerned Sony laptops are like a Mac, to expensive and full of crap.

dave164 said,
That browser sucks far to much, and as far as i'm concerned Sony laptops are like a Mac, to expensive and full of crap.

Sony laptops are outrageously priced. With them disabling Windows 7 features now for laptops that they deem "low end", which is far from low end when compared to the cost of products from other companies... Sony is just ridiculous.

I would never buy a pc with that browser in it and I'll never use it again. I've given it three chances and have had nothing but problems with it. It sucks!

dogmai said,
I would never buy a pc with that browser in it and I'll never use it again. I've given it three chances and have had nothing but problems with it. It sucks!

I've used it, and have only really had a problem with sites that display video content (Surprisingly). Otherwise it hasn't been bad. I've heard some bad stories though... I still prefer Firefox 100%.

Hm... I home they don't plan on doing this in the EU... If one vendor can't bundle a browser, none should be able to. I can hear Opera crying already...

Especially with this comment:

they hope by having theirs set as the default on these PCs it will be accepted and unquestioned by the user.

Chrome is really coming along as a great browser, and it's slowly overtaking Opera as my preferred browser of choice; however, I still feel that Chrome has a long way to go before it will feel like a complete browser. They still haven't included basic options such as the ability to set your own download location, which is a feature that every browser that I've ever used has. I'm surprised that any PC maker would decide to include Chrome in its present state. It seems like Firefox or Opera would be a much better alternative simply because they have been around a bit longer and are better developed than Chrome at the moment.

Spanner button -> Options -> Minor Tweaks tab.
I'll leave the rest up to you.

IMO there's not much wrong with Chrome's current state. It's a fully functional browser and it serves me perfectly.

Chewbob said,
Spanner button -> Options -> Minor Tweaks tab.
I'll leave the rest up to you.

IMO there's not much wrong with Chrome's current state. It's a fully functional browser and it serves me perfectly.

Thanks for the info. I'm not seeing this option in Chromium however. Do you know if it is possible to change the download location in Chromium as well?

I would still have to disagree with you though. Aside from my ignorance concerning the ability to change the download location, I have major problems trying to view any type of website that utilizes flash, especially video sites. Until they get this fixed Opera will remain my number one choice.

why cant these manufacturers just leave the choice up to the consumers? i hate all that junk software they install.. and oh wait.. does this apply to the EU to? wonder what microsoft will have to say lol

How can this even be possible? Doesn't Microsoft have total monopolistic control over web browsers on Windows-based computers? Isn't Opera in court because they've just made it impossible for any other browser to compete with IE?

Computer manufacturers have always had total freedom to install any browser they want so in a sense this shouldn't be "news". If anything this will give Sony PCs a distinction over others and will give more people the opportunity to evaluate the browser compared to what they are used to (likely IE). Then they can make an informed decision to keep it or go back to something more familiar.

Personally, I like this approach much better than having a browser or toolbar shoved down my throat along with a download I actually want. (Adobe Reader is a good example)

C_Guy said,
How can this even be possible? Doesn't Microsoft have total monopolistic control over web browsers on Windows-based computers? Isn't Opera in court because they've just made it impossible for any other browser to compete with IE?

Computer manufacturers have always had total freedom to install any browser they want so in a sense this shouldn't be "news". If anything this will give Sony PCs a distinction over others and will give more people the opportunity to evaluate the browser compared to what they are used to (likely IE). Then they can make an informed decision to keep it or go back to something more familiar.

Personally, I like this approach much better than having a browser or toolbar shoved down my throat along with a download I actually want. (Adobe Reader is a good example)


Oh, except they haven't. Microsoft dictates to PC manufacturers exactly what must be in a Windows install, including applications and icons on the desktop. They used to make it that every PC sold HAD to include a license for windows, whether that PC has linux, beos or whatever. You people are sure quick to forget history.

cakesy said,

Oh, except they haven't. Microsoft dictates to PC manufacturers exactly what must be in a Windows install, including applications and icons on the desktop. They used to make it that every PC sold HAD to include a license for windows, whether that PC has linux, beos or whatever. You people are sure quick to forget history.

What you just stated are what we call "myths."

PC manufacturers generally haven't included other browsers because their users didn't care and not having IE visible always failed usability studies since people are familiar with it and like it. Now that other browsers are actually decent and becoming more and more popular, and now that Google is probably paying them to include it, they have a reason to.

Why the hell would Dell buy a Windows license for a Linux PC? That's absurd. I think you're confusing this with companies that bought Windows PCs and wiping them to install Linux because they couldn't buy blank ones (since most companies just wouldn't sell them that way). That was hardly Microsoft's doing, and it's changed quite a bit over the last 5-10 years.

cakesy said,
What you just stated are what we call "myths."

PC manufacturers generally haven't included other browsers because their users didn't care and not having IE visible always failed usability studies since people are familiar with it and like it. Now that other browsers are actually decent and becoming more and more popular, and now that Google is probably paying them to include it, they have a reason to.

Why the hell would Dell buy a Windows license for a Linux PC? That's absurd. I think you're confusing this with companies that bought Windows PCs and wiping them to install Linux because they couldn't buy blank ones (since most companies just wouldn't sell them that way). That was hardly Microsoft's doing, and it's changed quite a bit over the last 5-10 years.

As I understand Microsoft required that PC manufacturers wouldn't remove the IE installation, but it never forbade them from installing third party software, which is why Windows PCs had all that junkware installed on them. I remember seeing PCs pre-installed with Netscape.

C_Guy said,
Yes. It makes no sense to cripple an operating system now does it?

Sure it does, when that part of the OS is the most insecure application out there. The most secure thing you can do to windows is to pull ie out of it. ActiveX was and still is a ridiculous idea, why do Microsoft keep doing stuff like this.

cakesy said,
Sure it does, when that part of the OS is the most insecure application out there. The most secure thing you can do to windows is to pull ie out of it. ActiveX was and still is a ridiculous idea, why do Microsoft keep doing stuff like this.

Why do people ask Microsoft to remove a product instead of improving it?

cakesy said,
Sure it does, when that part of the OS is the most insecure application out there. The most secure thing you can do to windows is to pull ie out of it. ActiveX was and still is a ridiculous idea, why do Microsoft keep doing stuff like this.

Well that's just rubbish. IE is possibly the most secure browser available. It and Chrome are the only two that run in a low IL sandbox, and IE has the only effect cross-site scripting filter (as seen in that IE8 was the only browser not affected by the recent Twitter and 37Signals XSS exploits against Ruby on Rails).

Besides, if you don't use it, it isn't an attack vector.

Oh and your ActiveX comment is ridiculous. ActiveX was an innovative extension of COM, which revolutionized software component modularization. Why do you think everybody copied it? (i.e. Apple's Objective C + Cocoa APIs are based on a similar model)

The fact that ActiveX was chosen as the browser extension model is incidental - Firefox and Chrome do basically the same thing. How do you think Flash (an ActiveX control in IE) runs in either of those apps? Through basically the same mechanism. The only problems with ActiveX support in IE were:
a) Poorly written ActiveX controls that could be exploited.
b) Users installed ActiveX controls indiscriminately.

The latter one is a problem in any browser. Just because Firefox doesn't use ActiveX for its add-ins doesn't mean users won't install malicious add-ins...

peacemf said,
chrome needs roboform support!

Seconded.

Browsing without Roboform is about as comfy as browsing without a mouse-wheel.

I feel like a junkie.


People don't read the whole title or article complete. I caught it right away in the title that it was about the browser because it has the word BROWSER!
I'm using Chrome as my main browser because it's fast and clean, also it supports multicore with those independent instants of processes.

yurimaster said,
People don't read the whole title or article complete.


But they do, thats why Navan commented the fact that he THOUGHT it was talking about the OS...prior to reading the 'complete article'.

The agreement has only just been confirmed but has been in operation for while. As I wrote in the article:

Google also confirmed that the first Sony VAIO PCs to feature Chrome out of the box have already gone on sale