The browser wars took a turn, with reports that Google (s goog) has inked a deal with Sony (s sne) to pre-install the Chrome web browser on new VAIO computers. This marks the first deal that Google has signed with a hardware vendor to get Chrome involved in consumers’ OOBE (out of box experience).
Google has come to terms with the fact that mainstream consumers, not those who follow the tech world, end up using whatever browser is installed on the new computer they take home. I see this all the time, and whenever I ask my non-techie friends which browser they use, I often get a confused look in response. It is evident that many “regular” people do not even think about what a browser is. I have to follow up with another question — whether they use Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer. They almost always get it at that point, and answer that they use IE. The question “why” always gets the standard “because that’s what was on the computer.”
This deal with Sony means Google has the chance to become the browser “that is on the computer.” It is a win for Google — and most likely not the last deal it makes with OEMs.