What Are Google's Browser Plans?

Stephan Spencer at CNET writes a speculative post on Google’s browsers plans. Google hasn’t said much on the subject in over a year, when CEO Eric Schmidt sidestepped the question by answering “We would only do so…if we thought there was a real user benefit.”

People often point to the cozy relationship between Google and Firefox when talking about Google’s browser plans. But Google also invested in the Maxthon browser earlier this year. It was a very small investment – just $1 million. But there were rumors of a much larger strategic deal between the companies, too. Neither side has officially acknowledged the investment or the strategic deal to date.

Maxthon is little known in the U.S. Half of its downloads occur in China, though, and it is a big player there. Whether Google’s strategic plans for Maxthon extend beyond China is anyone’s guess.

A lot of this would be cleared up if Google (or Maxthon) made an announcement on the subject. But what we want has little to do with what’s best for Google’s business. If they do launch a browser, and/or acquire Maxthon, we almost certainly won’t hear about it until it actually happens.