2008-09-03

Internet wars: Chrome vs the rest

I am not sure my blog post title is correct. Are we now seeing the browser wars 2.0? Or is it the RIA wars? Or is it the war for cloud computing? I guess all those are applicable. Like most geeks yesterday and today, I downloaded and used Google's Chrome Web Browser and I like it. First reason? Its fast! And I'm not the only one to notice that, collegues and friends alike have made that remark. But is there more to it than that? Well, its OmniBar, the integrated address bar and search bar is a nice touch, go to one place, do two things. Also, I like the font it uses, very clean. It simply is, a web browser, the most basic one out there, but for some reason, I really like it.

But don't think Google just created a browser to compete with Firefox and IE. No, no, it is to go way beyond that. Web sites have evolved in the last five years into web applications. We use web applications to find directions, read email, write a document, etc... But now we are looking to harness the power of the desktop. Adobe has done this with AIR, Mozilla has Prism in the works and now Google stepped in with Chrome. In order to see this with Chrome, goto the main page of a web application and use the "Create application shortcut" menu item and voila, an icon on your desktop that allows us quick access to that application. Exactly like Adobe AIR does. Also remember that Chrome integrates Google Gears, so eventually you can add online/offline capabilities to a web application, very intriguing.

Remains to see how Google will push this to the masses, so far only geeks have downloaded it, thats not much traction. It has a build-in VM, but how to do develop for it? Google IDE anyone? How about integration for designers? It has very far to go, but a good start.

The cloud computing/RIA wars have just begun to heat up and I think we are about to see much inovation from different players and it is going to be very fun for years to come.

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