What is a browser? Russian edition

You may have seen the video where Google asks more than 50 people in Times Square, New York, what a browser is. Most of them basically think a browser is a search engine!

It looks like the various browser vendors have a lot of work to do in order to create awareness around browsers!

Now someone has tried a similar poll in Russia. …


While they didn't interview as many as in the Google video, it's still quite interesting. I have been told that the most common response was "something to use the internet", which sounds a bit better than most of the responses in the New York video.

The last part of the video counts how many people use the different browsers, and as you can see, Opera is #1 with 8 "votes", Firefox with 6, Internet Explorer 5, Netscape and Safari 2, and Chrome 1.

Gotta love Russia 🙂

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26 thoughts on “What is a browser? Russian edition

  1. Originally posted by tomassplatch:

    How is it possible that you have such success there and strive elsewhere?

    Probably because they know what a browser is :p Both cause and effect.

  2. Opera has a market share around 3% globally according to Internet World Stats. StatCounter confirms that, and also reports a market share of nearly 10% in Europe. In addition to that, Opera has an even higher market share in many individual countries.Opera isn't doing too badly considering it has only been a mass-market browser for about 3.5 years. The U.S. seems to be where it's more difficult to penetrate the market, although our user base there is growing in absolute numbers as well.

  3. Great success for opera in russia. How is it possible that you have such success there and strive elsewhere? I wonder what is behind that, opera doesn't seem to pay much special interest to russia from marketing point of view. Anyway, congratulations!

  4. Originally posted by tomassplatch:

    Just wondered why russia…

    Not only Russia, but some other ex-USSR states too (Ukraine especially).Basically piracy and Opera's very good performance on low speed connections are the main reasons.

  5. FataL, I don't quite get the connection to piracy. Are you saying that Russians and Ukrainians started using Opera because it was the only Browser they could pirate back when Opera wasn't free yet?

  6. Originally posted by scaRFhogg:

    Are you saying that Russians and Ukrainians started using Opera because it was the only Browser they could pirate back when Opera wasn't free yet?

    There was also Netscape Navigator ($49) pretty popular too. :)Choices in 1997-1998: IE 4, Opera 3, Netscape 4Choices in 1999-2000: IE 5, Opera 4 (Netscape almost died)The benefits form pirating Opera in ex-USSR is that Opera took a good piece of browser market when there was less competition.I think if Opera decided to make their browser free at least couple years before they did, there would be completely different situation (similar to what we have in Russia and Ukraine now).

  7. We, Russians, love Opera because it is fast, especially on slow connections (and I'm mentioning slow connections! I'm the guy with 100mbits at home! lol!) and very customizable. It is very comfortable if you get used to its features. And we are very lazy people (: Also Opera is European browser and we kinda hate americans. And yes, we are smarter then americans, so we know what the browser is and many people know about IE security issues.But maybe it is just because we have more connections in the way we think and feel with Norwegian guys then with American guys.

  8. Time to get Opera movin' here in Oz :)Interestingly I find that a lot of Russian products tend to be pretty good with security. Take DiskCryptor for example. Super fast and very easy to use.

  9. Russian software should be good with encryption considering that the Russians were the world leaders in encryption towards the end of the second world war. Of course, the emphasis they placed in encryption was inspired by early losses in the war due to a lack of encryption in their field communications. that there is a distinct difference between the American market and The rest of the world is clear. I wonder if it's not possibly related to issues of trust. Americans, untill recently, trusted their political leaders almost inherently. And any distrust in political leadership there was offset by their trust in American media. Around here, politicians have always been viewed as liars and cheats and the media have mostly been viewed as pawns of the government. From what I've seen, Europeans are similarly distrustfull of politics and media. So marketing strategies that rely heavily on media and politics, both of which come at a heavy price, work better in America where more consumers are likely to run out and buy what's most heavily advertised. But in the rest of the world, heavily advertised products are less likely to be as popular.

  10. Originally posted by qlue:

    Russian software should be good with encryption considering that the Russians were the world leaders in encryption towards the end of the second world war. Of course, the emphasis they placed in encryption was inspired by early losses in the war due to a lack of encryption in their field communications.

    That explains a lot. And of course as a result the overall security of Russian software seems to be elevated.Originally posted by qlue:

    that there is a distinct difference between the American market and The rest of the world is clear. I wonder if it's not possibly related to issues of trust. Americans, untill recently, trusted their political leaders almost inherently. And any distrust in political leadership there was offset by their trust in American media.

    As an Australian I can tell you Australia have had that problem as well. I reckon it is because the governments in countries like America tend to be focused on "war against terrorism" and of course the media marketing fad. So basically you don't get the best software there – the marketing departments rule supreme. But that's just a theory.Originally posted by qlue:

    So marketing strategies that rely heavily on media and politics, both of which come at a heavy price, work better in America where more consumers are likely to run out and buy what's most heavily advertised. But in the rest of the world, heavily advertised products are less likely to be as popular.

    Even many Australians tend to rush out and buy whatever is heavily advertised. And yes it is probably a media and political thing.

  11. Originally posted by Aux:

    We, Russians, love Opera because it is fast, especially on slow connections (and I'm mentioning slow connections! I'm the guy with 100mbits at home! lol!) and very customizable.

    I do too. It runs flawlessly on systems with limited resources too (like my Windows NT machine for example)Of course unfortunatelyI don't have a 100Mbps connection (I wish I did) :(Originally posted by Aux:

    It is very comfortable if you get used to its features. And we are very lazy people (:

    I dunno about you guys being "lazy" – I mean at least you made the effort (which was minimal) of deciding IE is crap. I would probably say that label goes to America.Originally posted by Aux:

    Also Opera is European browser and we kinda hate americans. And yes, we are smarter then americans, so we know what the browser is and many people know about IE security issues.

    Even though I personally have nothing against Americans in general I must admit that many are used to impulse upgrades that whatever new comes out they all get (even their governments!) – Australia has a similar problem. Well I guess we can expect Russian economy to shoot up the way you guys are going. Eventually quality (Russians) will win over quantity (Americans)Going off-topic a little – all this reminds me about the Space Race: where the Americans spent billions of dollars on a pen that can write in Zero G etc, while the Russians used a pencil 😀

  12. Originally posted by winand:

    hah) A guy waved his hand and said: ie isn't consideredIE got -1 point)

    What do you mean by all that?

  13. AgentCROCODILE, in the video one of the guys is saying in Russian: "ie isn't considered" and then browser counter for IE ticks one step back 🙂

  14. I would like to see more work by industrial companies working in Alaska, where the US has left people there in third world conditions; a shame to a great nation; I am an Alaskan Native with very little resources to work with; but can OPERA make a difference in Alaska?

  15. It occurs to me that we'd get some hilarious answers if we asked the staff at Google the question, "what is a browser?" :p.

  16. Pete writes:@AgentCROCODILEIn America, we also check out our urban legends before posting them 🙂 The space pen/pencil thing is a myth, even at the "millions of dollars" level usually associated with it.http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asphttp://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/spacepen.htmFWIW, pencils are quite possibly dangerous aboard a space capsule/craft. The US did use them early on, but were concerned about them igniting in 100% oxygen, worrying about the graphite dust created when writing, and the dangers of a floating broken pencil lead. The Russians do not consider it desirable to use a pencil in space, although they used grease pencils. According to the second link, the Russians also use the fisher space pen.NASA never funded the project, and paid around $5-6 each for the pens.Anyway, as to the overall post, glad to see someone knew what a browser was. I'd like to see the outtakes from the Google video to know how many people gave intelligent answers but were edited out. What's weird to me is that video seemed to just add fuel to the whole "Browser *should* be considered part of the OS" argument. Of course, that helps the Chrome OS, but also adds fuel to MS's position with the EU regarding IE.Pete

  17. geez writes:"but also adds fuel to MS's position with the EU regarding IE"It does no such thing. MICROSOFT chose to remove the browser. The EU never asked them to do that.

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