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Google's question for Times Square

What is a browser?

The question is a no-brainer for sophisticated readers of Blogspotting, I’m sure. But 92% of random people in Times Square had trouble answering this question, according to this video put together by the folks at Google. Some answers were delightfully naive (e.g. “A browser is when you know what you’re looking for and a search engine is when you search for something”). But most people simply confused the term browser with search engine.

Have a look, and a laugh.

Why would Google commission this unscientific study? Maybe they just wanted to poke fun at tourists in Times Square.

But more likely, this is a viral marketing campaign for Chrome, the browser Google introduced in September that’s only managed to capture 1.8% of the market. It has a long way to go to take a bite out of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which has 66%, and steady growers Firefox and Safari.

The video serves the dual purpose of market research: knowing that the mainstream consumer thinks of browsers in terms of search might lead Google to give its search engine a more prominent role in the design of future releases.

Thanks to @zee from the great site The Next Web for spotting this video.

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