Google Shines Up Chrome
Google today announced the beta release of its open
source Chrome Web browser
. Based on the WebKit rendering engine and featuring
code, Chrome could quickly challenge Internet Explorer and Firefox as a leading
As RDN Executive Editor Jeffrey Schwartz reports, industry analysts
believe Google's Chrome will have an impact that extends far beyond the browser
market. In an interview, IDC Program Director Al Hilwa described Chrome as "Google's
"It's really becoming the new operating system. And over time this is
going to be a significant threat [to Microsoft]," Hilwa said. "Much
like virtualization technologies, you are seeing browsers really coming back
to being a disruptive force."
So disruptive, in fact, that I expect the Microsoft-Google battle to reach
a whole new level over the next year or so. Google has spent a lot of time and
effort to build out its platform base from search and ad serving to a robust
suite of online applications and developer tools.
So make no mistake: Google Chrome is not just another Mozilla Firefox, a capable
Web browser that could eat into IE's market share. Where the Mozilla Foundation's
vision seems to have very clear and distinct limits, Google's ambition knows
no bounds. Hilwa and other industry watchers fully expect Chrome to emerge as
a full-fledged platform, and I'm certain that Microsoft executives are reaching
the same conclusions.
What does it mean for developers? Well, I expect a surge of competitive activity
as Google and Microsoft both sharpen their toolsets and release updated browser
and platform software. I also expect Chrome will quickly achieve prominence,
forcing dev shops to support yet another browser target. So the short-term result
will be more work for Web developers.
Long-term? Well, you tell me. Can Google do what Netscape and others failed
to accomplish, and unseat Windows? E-mail me at [email protected].
Posted by Michael Desmond on 09/02/2008