Although Yahoo remains the top provider of web-based email, Google has handily dominated the search engine market, and Google’s Chrome browser recently displaced Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as America’s most widely-used web browser, according to analytics website CNet.
With the launch of Axis, a web browser designed for tablet computers and smartphones, Yahoo hopes to arrest Google’s growth.
Perhaps the biggest innovation introduced by Axis is a new display of search results. Instead of the hyperlink inventory produced by a standard search on Google or Bing, Axis presents search results to users as a series of web-page thumbnails, arranged horizontally and browsed with a flick of the finger. Users can return to the search query by dragging the results down. Feedback on the new search display has been generally favorable.
Yahoo’s decision to develop Axis as a mobile browser likely reflects a consensus among industry analysts that tablets and smartphones will eventually outstrip the traditional PC as the primary computing platform for most users.
An Axis plug-in is available for PC-based web browsers like Mozilla, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. A mobile version for Android smartphones remains in development.