Let's rename the Googleplex the Chrome Dome
Battle of the browsers? Internet rock star Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) turned heads this week by rolling out an Internet browser. Google's Chrome is slick, but is it enough to eat at the dominant market share that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) holds?

Chrome comes at a timely moment, just as Microsoft is rolling out Internet Explorer 8. It's easy to see why Big G would want some skin in the browser game: As Microsoft makes bigger inroads into online advertising, it has an advantage in being the surfing program of choice for most of the country.

And IE does more than just funnel users to Microsoft's Live.com search engine or bubble MSN.com portal stories up to the top. Microsoft is also pretty good about giving its users the ability to customize their online experiences. However, if we ever get to the point where rival browsers begin promoting the zapping of Google's text ads -- the same way most browsers these days kill off pop-ups -- Google could take a hit to the pocketbook.

Keep in mind that Google still counts on online advertising for roughly 99% of its revenue mix. Google wants to grow that base, but it also needs to protect it. If that means bumping up against Microsoft whenever it can, that's what it will do.

Briefly in the news
And now, let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has become a bit of a dot-com mogul lately. This week, it launched Sound Unwound, a wiki-based music website where community members update band profiles. The musical-artist pages feature discographies that point to MP3 downloads and CD purchases through Amazon.com. No one said a wiki has to be a charity -- no offense, Wikipedia.
  • There was another executive defection at VMware (NYSE:VMW). What's the deal? Can you use virtualization software to clone executives? If not, VMware had better know what it's doing. There has to be concern that the revolving door keeps spinning, especially when the company isn't that far removed from last year's IPO.
  • The new iPods are coming? Well, at least that's the logical conclusion after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) scheduled a press event next week with a "Let's Rock" theme. The line is due for a tune-up, anyway. Fellow Fool Tim Beyers has three neat predictions, including a Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) tie-in. That may be a bit extreme if we're talking about anything other than duplicating satellite radio's Web streaming product, but Apple has been known to wow us before.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. VMware and Google are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Amazon.com and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.