Nice browser, now for the browser platform …

by Maskil on September 8, 2008

I don’t have an awful lot to say about the launch of Google’s new Chrome browser.

It’s good news that we are now spoiled for choice when it comes to browsers. I’ve long since abandoned Internet Explorer (IE) on any machine I spend any significant amount of time on (I’ve mentioned repeatedly in other contexts how stable my machine has been since I stopped loading IE every day).

It’s also great that someone with Google’s clout has looked at the browser from the ground up. In the long run, this can only be good for the end-user (from what I understand, Google Chrome is still seen as a reference implementation rather than an IE or Firefox killer).

Personally, I won’t be making the move from Firefox and Flock any time soon. I see Firefox as the first successful desktop application framework, and with the dozen or so add-ons I have installed, I’m spending more time inside Firefox than almost anywhere else. Until Google Chrome has that critical mass of applets, I don’t think I’ll be doing much more than reviewing it.

What else is significant about this? Well, Google is moving deeper and deeper into the desktop space. Google Pack could be seen as their initial incursion into the desktop, and once it matures as a product, Google Chrome will hold real territory rather than just a bridgehead. Google’s next step may well be its own operating system (or browser platform, as some now see the OS). This may end up being a Google distribution of Ubuntu Linux, for instance (packaged with an extended version of Google Pack perhaps), but may well be an OS written from the ground up.

Those competing (whether by design or not) in the areas Google has marked out for itself should be afraid, very afraid.

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