Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be making a bigger push to matter in the realm of Internet browsers. According to Michael Arrington's Tech Crunch blog, Big G has acquired a minority stake in the company behind the Maxthon Web browser. The software has been downloaded more than 80 million times, with most of it users coming from China.

Google knows the score. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) watches over the most popular Internet Explorer browser. Anything that Google can do to promote rival browsers will help its case in keeping Microsoft away from driving online experiences. Google is already an active marketer of the free Firefox browser.

Maxthon's growing influence in China is another reason why the potential deal would be attractive to Google, which continues to trail (NASDAQ:BIDU) as China's search engine of choice.

Of course, having a hand in the browser doesn't dictate complete user control. Most Internet Explorer users still turn to Google -- over Microsoft's MSN or engines -- for their searching needs. Still, it's good to see Google continue to grow its reach. Companies can't rely on organic growth in a world where nimble upstarts are nibbling away at market share.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google know this. They've got billions in the bank, and they aren't afraid to use it when opportunities arise to acquire established websites or innovative Web-application providers. If there is any surprise here, it's that Google apparently went for a minority stake, when it clearly has the means to buy small companies whole.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of Google, and it would be his homepage if weren't occupying that spot. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.