Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Google is poised to hurt Microsoft with the announcement of Google's new Web browser, Chrome (see full story from PC World).

There are a lot of factors at work here, but the basic idea is that today's Internet offers more "applications" than simple Web pages. In other words, when you go to YouTube, you launch video apps, when you go to MySpace, you launch other bots and gadgets.

Therefore, a Web browser that can take this kind of thing into account might be poised to take over the marketplace. For an excellent comic book description of the new browser, visit the Google "Chrome" Comic Book.

The new browser will enable applications to be multi-threaded--forming a new tab with each app--rather than being single threaded. Currently, if a single app goes haywire, it can crash the entire browser. With Chrome, if a single app fails, you simply close the tab.

There will also be a Task Manager, which enables users to monitor what is happening behind the scenes of the browser.

There's a lot more, but I have to move on with my day.

I will say that Google is in an excellent spot right now. They're using Open Source technology and they have the Web pages to test the browser, so they should release a product that is fast and secure.

But, returning to my opening point: if this migration from desktop applications to Web-based applications continues (and it will), Microsoft might be in trouble. I admit I haven't closely followed Microsoft for several years, so I don't know what they are currently working on. But Internet Explorer is a big, clumsy browser that has more patches than Emmett Kelly's jacket.

IE has also been famous for its vunerability. If Google can solve these issues, while maintaining Open Source and the ability to revise based on the Open Source Credo, then IE is definitely in trouble and will lose market share (currently estimated at approximately 74% of the market).

I wonder what Cringely has to say about CHROME. What does Ralph have to say?

More on this later, I'm sure.



Ralph said...

I'm out at a techno conference and the topic of Chrome came up. Of course, the techies love it. I already use Mozilla, which was fairly simple to download and install. With the user base that Google has, it should be fairly easy for them to capture market share, as long as their stuff works. Of course, the browser will probably be free, so the question is, how will they make money? Will they try to sell applications, like an office killer, that will be hosted by Google and available online? Most likely, but that's a whole 'nother level than giving away a free Browser. Office is currently Microsoft's biggest money maker, and I don't see that going away anytime soon.


DrD said...

Yeah, Google wants to deliver Web-based apps and cut into Microsoft's install base.

How they're going to handle the conflict between Open Source and licensing fees for software is something I don't have a handle on yet. They seem to be leaning toward Open Source at this point, but if they start charging fees for Web-based apps, they become another Microsoft.

Travel safely.