• Googles chrome

Many stories focus on what Google Chrome means for Microsoft, Firefox, and the fate of the current online world. But what does it mean for up-and-coming Web start-ups? Here are six implications for the start-up world that I can see. These assume that Chrome lives up to its hype. That's a big if.

1. Chrome is to current browsers what Windows was to DOS. Twenty-three years ago Microsoft started its march from being just another software company to being, well, Microsoft. It did this by offering order in a fragmented world. Back then, you couldn't just run an app on your personal computer. There were dozens of OSes, all doing basically the same thing, just a little differently. If you wrote an app, you'd have to cater to not just OS, but sometimes to each version of an OS. Sound familiar?

Google, both for monetary and ideological reasons, aims to make Chrome the standardized operating system for Web apps--and to make Web apps indistinguishable from native desktop apps. That means Chrome will let you turn any Web app into something you can reach from your Start Menu, Dock or desktop. It means Chrome is taking on the key jobs of the OS, like partitioning memory and managing application processes. It means if people use Chrome as a platform they'll get--Google says--huge, noticeable advantages like an end to worrying about the viruses and malware that use the Web as their primary means of infection.

The biggest hindrance to Web apps today are other Web apps that crash the browser. Google means to put a stop to this, and Chrome's featureset and priorities align toward this objective.

2. Chrome rebuilds JavaScript from the ground up. The key chokepoint of the modern Web app is JavaScript. Originally little more than a way to play cute little sounds, JavaScript is pushed to the limits via Ajax programming techniques and the host of excellent JavaScript libraries like prototype, script.aculo.us, and extjs.

But after 13 years, the JavaScript interpreters built into browsers are way past their prime. They can't carry the load and leak memory like sieves. Off in Denmark, Google has been building V8, a new from-the-ground-up JavaScript interpreter that's built into Chrome and available under its own open-source license.

What does this mean? Take the online video revolution that advertisers are in heat over. It might be helpful if the underlying browser displaying the video, and the main interface language that accesses it, is based on current computer science rather than state of the art in 1992.

3. There's a new sheriff in town: Google. How many times has some crappy JavaScript function, plug-in or giant image choked your browser to death? Chrome is designed not only to sandbox misbehaving code, but to make it easy for users to see who's to blame. Chrome comes with its own task manager, and bandwidth malefactors will be called out of hiding.

Chrome will be setting a very, very high expectation: if you use Chrome, Google in effect is saying, viruses, spyware, malware, keyloggers, and phishing will be trapped in their sandboxes. Given that the Net is the primary vector of infection today, Google is taking on the evildoers of the Net. As well as the current police force; Chrome could very swiftly adversely impact the business of every "anti" software vendor very quickly.

4. Google to closed social networks: Drop dead. How long before Google extends Chrome so as you surf the Web, you can connect with your friends looking at the same sites as you at the same time? How long before Google pulls together the strands of its social network initiatives (everything from Google Share to its growing support of OpenID to Google Talk's instant-messaging functionality in Gmail) into one unified, Chrome-ified, service that anyone can use?

5. Chrome Extension API is coming. Get ready. Firefox's huge extension "ecosystem" has been important to its adoption. While the beta released today doesn't support extensions, that is definitely on the road map. Best to keep an eye on Chromium, the online home of the open-source project emitting Chrome.

Google Chrome extensions: Not yet, but later

Mozilla's Firefox has an edge over Google's Chrome, when it comes to extensions that give the browser new abilities. Google plans to add abilities for extensions, though.
(Posted in
Business Tech by Stephen Shankland)

Google co-founder expects Chrome for Android

Chrome is a browser for PCs today. But its technology, and likely its name, will move to the company's Android mobile phone software, co-founder Sergey Brin says.
(Posted in
Business Tech by Stephen Shankland)

Firefox counters Google's browser speed test

Mozilla fights back against Chrome, saying the upcoming version of Firefox beats Google's browser in a JavaScript race.
(Posted in
Webware by Stephen Shankland)

Chrome suffers first security flaw

Researcher Rishi Narang discloses a malicious link that can crash the new browser. In Google-speak, "Whoa!"
(Posted in
Security by Robert Vamosi)

Why Google Chrome? Fast browsing = $$$

Google is betting that its Chrome browser will speed up Web search, Web advertising, and Web applications--even if it's because it forces Microsoft to improve IE.
(Posted in
Webware by Stephen Shankland)

Speed test: Google Chrome beats Firefox, IE, Safari

Google's Chrome trounces Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari on speed tests for JavaScript, a key foundation for rich Web apps. But Google picked the benchmarks.
(Posted in
Business Tech by Stephen Shankland)

Images: How Google's Chrome shines

Search giant's new Chrome rethinks how browsers should work in a Web 2.0 world, but also borrows from its competition.

Live blog: Google Chrome press conference

Read a minute-by-minute account of the Chrome event--including technical details--at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters Tuesday morning.
(Posted in
Webware by Rafe Needleman)

Google Chrome: Browser competition back in high gear

No browser maker is complacent these days, but Google's open-source effort is likely to put on even more pressure.
(Posted in
Digital Media by Stephen Shankland)

Google steps on Firefox with new Zune...err, Chrome

It has the brand equity to make people pay attention to Chrome in the way start-up Flock never did, but could Chrome be Google's Zune moment?
(Posted in
The Open Road by Matt Asay)

Mozilla CEO: Chrome was inevitable

John Lilly says that he welcomes the challenge Google's new browser poses to Firefox and that Mozilla will continue its financial relationship with Google until 2011.
(Posted in
Webware by Brett Winterford)

There are 0 comments