Facebook has a message on its site for people who use Google Chrome or the Apple Safari browser:
You’re using a web browser we don’t support.
Try one of these options to have a better experience on Facebook.
That’s interesting, huh? Facebook supports neither the browser with the most market share nor the standard for Apple devices.
The options, though, tell the story. Microsoft is an investor in Facebook. Mozilla Firefox is a non-threat. And Opera is the browser that Facebook is rumored to be buying for its big mobile push.
Google is building out its Chrome devices, that connect apps into Chromebooks and the Chromebox. And, of course, Google+ makes Google an up-and-coming Facebook rival.
Safari is the Apple browser for every iPhone user on the planet. Facebook wants that kind of power, too, and is purportedly planning its own mobile phone that could ostensibly include the Safari browser.
All kinds of speculation is possible.
Blocking browsers is a game we see Microsoft playing with the Windows 8 phone. Apple plays the game, too. It does not allow browsers that duplicates functionality in iOS. Alternative browsers for the iOS must use Safari on the back end. As a note, it is reported that Apple has a Chrome app under review, and we could see a release by the end of the second quarter.
Upon the day that it does release a mobile device, Facebook will no doubt play in similar fashion. If it works in cahoots with Microsoft then trouble will certainly come, too. The legality of such a course would come under question and certainly raise the ire of the user community.
How this affects services, you may ask. Browser wars could play havoc for enterprise shops. I spoke with Phillippe Winthrop, managing director of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation at SAP SapphireNow. He said members are using iOS. They are starting to think about Windows. But Android is a nightmare due to its lack of version control, which can cause all kinds of issues with developers.
Now just imagine the havoc a browser war would cause.