Up Next: GoogleBrowse?

The blogs are alive with word of Microsoft’s upcoming IE8, which will have a special private-browsing mode that could threaten Google’s ability to deliver targeted advertising. Megan McArdle is annoyed because it’s already hard enough for media companies to make money online, and “We don’t need a new web browser making things even harder than they already are.”

What a strange attitude for a libertarian. There’s nothing about the structure of the universe or the online economy that says people have to be exposed to ads; if people’s browsing preferences make the ad-driven model unsustainable, so much the worse for that model.

If the “worries” over IE8 (w/r/t google-ads) are genuine, I see two possible outcomes. One, Google launches its own browser which drives IE and Firefox out of the market. Or, this helps kill off the current model of pairing ads in context with content, which is simply not working. I’d like to see the second outcome; the sooner we accept that we need some sort of subscription model for paying for online content the better.

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