Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome: The Bigger Picture

I am back to blogging and what better to restart with other than Google's new Web Browser, Google Chrome . Touted as a competitor to IE 8 and firefox, but its more than that. You can obtain a first hand information about why this browser was built from these videos posted by the Google Engineers themselves. An Open Source product with a new dedicated JavaScript engine called V8, chrome is potrayed as a browser for "running the application" and not for displaying pages. Google developers are correct when they say that Internet and related web apps have come a long way but there hasn't been a significant change in the browser. 

And be careful when Google says "browser for applications". It throws open a new realm of discussion. So now Google has a browser, web based apps for Spread sheets, Powerpoint Viewer(an option for Gmail users) and Google docs are already there. Picasaweb is a hit with its recently released new features. Blogger,  Google Maps, Google Notebook, Google Reader are a few more popular products not forgetting the search engine itself. Also an array of google products are available at Google Labs

So what does all these signify. Did Google want to get into the browser race as it didn't have one? I think no. It has a bigger vision. With data speeds speculated to cross across 7.67 Gb/s in near future, Google may be aiming for a complete web based environment for computers. Imagine your computer just running the "web browser"(I guess there will be a better term for that soon) and all your applications inside it. Something similar to Sun's caption, the Network is the Computer. Will you need the Operating System anymore? Hmm, a tough one. But may be Google is looking forward in that direction. How am I able to reach such conclusions? Yes, there is more than specualation. 
1.) If you carefully hear the engineers explaining the design of Chrome, you will learn that each tab has its own sand box and doesn't interfere with the other. So if one tab fails other will continue.  They are thinking applications.
2.) Google Chrome is built on a completely new JavaScript engine V8. May be this could be the foundation for a another platform on which the browser may run.
3.) Who would give a Task Manager in a browser with all the statistics that a nerd would need?(Check this option by pressing Shift + Esc)
4.) Mozilla, whose major income is from Google, its equations would definitely change if Google touts this as a browser.
5.) Google Chrome doesn't exceed the expectations of a Google product. A Google product has always been different. Chrome as a browser doesn't do that. Now change your perspective and see Chrome as a "Browser for Applications". It will exceed your expectations.
Having said all these, only time can verify it. If Google is able to achieve the "browser for apps" sometime soon, its going to change the perspectives in the way computers will be looked at.

Here are the list of features I liked about the Chrome

* Relatively less memory usage & seems light weight.
* in built java script inspector.
* no useless wastage of spaces.

* Bad Pop-Up blocker management.
* Cntrl + F search may sometimes skip the embedded Text Area (not in cases of gmail and blogger, Happens with the proprietry platform I work on)
* Need Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to build for the latest windows version(Linux/Mac versions soon).

But there are no Misses if you see it as a "Browser for apps". Its an ideal stepping stone. And since Chrome is built on an open source project called Chromium , it could be an innovative and visionary development team who could do it before Google does it.

What next? Get Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and start exploring Google Chrome.
Related posts soon. Keep watching

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