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Why does the "Install Chrome" ad appear on IE8 when opening Google home page and not for Firefox?

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Very informative QA :) +1 – InfantPro'Aravind' Dec 17 '09 at 4:01
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Because Google can detect which browser is accessing its page, thanks to the User Agent string.

Firefox already uses Google as the default search provider, which most people will not change. This means the Firefox users will give revenue to Google thanks to the ads displayed next to the search results.

IE8 by default uses Bing as search engine and thus does not redirect searches and money to Google. That's why you see the ad on IE8.

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Sort of disagree - loads of people use Google as their home page, but this isn't like the old "switch your search provider" message, it is actually switch your browser which is a whole next level. – William Hilsum Dec 1 '09 at 9:44
Google most certainly has more of a profit motive to switch users from IE than from FF. Given how often folks probably use their browser's built-in search bar, this is quite likely one of several reasons for the difference in advertising for Chrome. I'd say it's likely a combo of this and the other answer regarding FF users vs IE users. – phoebus Dec 1 '09 at 9:54
ok, maybe I underestimated this - I set my search bar to and never use it for search.... but, I still think it is slightly more a middle finger to Microsoft than it is just about money - but perhaps I am wrong then. – William Hilsum Dec 1 '09 at 9:58
Oh I definitely agree with you re: the middle finger to Microsoft. I've never understood why people are obsessed with talking "Apple vs. MS" when the real competitors are Google and Microsoft. – phoebus Dec 1 '09 at 10:04
maybe Snark is right. Opera for example, uses Google as Default Search Provider and exclude Bing from the list, and no Ads on the google page. – user8228 Dec 1 '09 at 10:10

Because Google believe that people who use Internet Explorer are only using it because they do not know better or that there are any alternatives out there.

Likewise, they think that if people have already made a switch, they had their reasons and are not going to do it again / if they know there is better, they will do it themselves and not be influenced by adverts.

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+1 I want to add that people who using IE really should think about changing their browser. IE is really low-functional and low-performance. I'm using FireFox only. – ToreTrygg Dec 1 '09 at 9:49
I don't really know 100% about that - but I am 99% with you. I switched to Firefox years ago because I have ~5000 bookmarks. Every time I hovered over the favourites menu, IE used to freeze for about 4+ seconds. I love the tags and organising features. Now with addons such as adblock plus, I am hooked to Firefox... I have used IE a bit recently, and it has really improved, and think it is now a "good" browser, but Firefox has won me and until IE gets a killer feature to lure me back (Like Firefox had to get me), there is no incentive for me to switch back. – William Hilsum Dec 1 '09 at 10:02
I agree with this point too .. – InfantPro'Aravind' Dec 17 '09 at 3:59
This should be only a second reason. I don't think google's people are so narrow to use it as the only reason, or non-profit that they use it for the main reason. Google search as default in Fox generates money; not on IE. See Otherwise, why would they bother developing Chrome (for free) at all? – n611x007 Nov 23 '12 at 2:19

well there's loads of html/css/js specs that internet explorer just doesn't follow. therefore if google wants a better web, supporting open standards, then webkit/gecko/opera is the way to go. also, there is the 'default search engine' issue as explained by Snark.

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Additionally, Google are really going all-out with webapps, and IE just can't cut it for JS performance, and IE can't even RUN gwave. – Phoshi Dec 1 '09 at 12:31
I agree with Phoshi .. .. – InfantPro'Aravind' Dec 17 '09 at 4:00

In my opinion, it is just to get people using a standards compliant browser. If they are using Firefox, they are already using a standards compliant browser, and thus, dont need to make the switch.

And perhaps a little to stick it up Microsoft for having such a poor browser (yes, I am talking about IE8)

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