Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google's Chrome Strategy

If you haven't yet downloaded the new Google Chrome browser, launched yesterday, you can download it here. It's worth it. This is what a browser really should be. However this post is not about workings of the browser. There are a lot of articles about this in the last couple of days. This post is about Google's strategy for knocking Microsoft out of the race.

Really why would Google want to create a new browser when we have atleast half a dozen competent browsers already. As a matter of fact Google pays to support Firefox and that agreement is valid through 2011. And the Google Chrome browser itself is based on the WebKit rendering engine which is already being used by Apple's Safari browser. So really no advantage there except for the fact that chrome runs each tab you open as a separate process.

So what does Chrome have that the other browsers don't? A javascript compiler. Thats right, other browsers have javascript interpreters, but Chrome's V8 is really a Javascript compiler, that compiles and runs the javascript code as machine code, which is much faster than interpreting.

Thats the key. Faster javascript, means that you can run larger applications on your browser. If you have seen Google docs, you already have a spreadsheet, editor, and presentation software running on the browser. If you have faster javascript you could have software on your browser that can compete with standalone applications like Microsoft Office etc.

Think about this, over the years I have been using less of standalone applications, and more of applications on the browser. I use my browser for email, editing, spreadsheet and presentation. The only other applications I use is when I want to watch a movie or listen to music on my computer. Even that can be moved to the browser.

So there are many days that the only application I need to run on my computer is a browser. And Google has understood this for years now. That all your applications will eventually move to the browser. So Google docs and all other google apps are a step towards that goal.

Imagine the scenario. All the applications you need, now run on your browser. Does it matter what operating system you have in that case? No. Does it matter if you have an operating system at all? No. Your browser itself could be the OS too! So boot up your browser and shut down your browser! Far fetched or not, I bet this is already sending shivers down Microsoft's Spine.


  1. Interesting to know that you don't use (or minimally use) standalone applications. Having your browser serving as the OS does sound would that be possible?

  2. Technically its not far fetched. Its entirely possible. If the browser were to incorporate some of the functionality of the OS, it is entirely possible.
    OS functionality like
    1) Booting
    2) Multitasking
    3) Device handling Like display, usb devices etc
    And to stretch it even more no need for hard disk at all! Let the user store all his data on a server!

  3. Ok...are you talking about something like a thin client or a virtual display client. Ever worked on a Sun Ray...see applications and data are stored on the server. I don't think it has a hard disk either.

  4. Since you're so enthusiastic about Chrome, check out this article

  5. Yes something like sunray but open hardware like the pc. Thanks for the link to the article.