On 1st October, Russian search engine Yandex announced the launch of its new web browser, Yandex.browser. Based on the Chromium open source technology (used to build Google’s Chrome among others), the cloud-based browser is very similar in look and feel to what we’ve seen before but incorporates many of Yandex’s already popular products and services, and of course its own search engine.
The decision to launch a browser has undoubtedly been driven by search, and the potential advantage Google was gaining over Yandex in the Russian search space as a result of Chrome. StatCounter data shows Chrome as the most popular browser in the country, with approximately 33% share and with Google as its default search engine, it’s no surprise that Google has begun, slowly, to eat away at Yandex’s majority hold on the market. And the search giant is serious about succeeding in Russia, one of the few markets where it trails a local competitor, having even run an offline marketing campaign there to promote Chrome but it is a still long way off beating Yandex, which stills holds roughly 60% share. (more…)