As I’ve been closely observing the rich, internet application space with Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, Mozilla Prism and what ‘might’ come from WebKit (and SproutCore), imagine my surprise to learn today from Phillip Lenssen’s Google Blogoscoped about the release of this comic book to announce the WebKit-based Chrome (site not yet live), the new open source browser soon to debut from those search engine guys.
Though some question whether this is real or not, it makes perfect sense to me as the next evolution in browser technology and to stave off attempts by others (cough, *Adobe and Microsoft*, cough) to control the direction of the live mesh, web services and the containers that application and content value will be delivered within going forward.
What does this mean for you if you’re not a developer?
Almost everyone I know has “workspaces” they open in a browser every day. I currently have two Firefox windows open, each with about a dozen tabs. If there is a conflict within one of them, the entire browser hangs or crashes and I find this happening to me daily and I often have three browsers running simultaneously (two Firefox instances as well as Safari).
Chrome will force processes to each run inside of its own tab. If a site you go to runs something that crashes that tab, you can close it and all the others stay running!
Another interesting aspect is how this may change how each of us interact with applications on the Web or ‘cloud’. More and more I talk to people that are concerned about the inability to take data offline, and Gears inside of Chrome might be a seamless way to do so.
Flip through that comic book to see how Chrome is positioned as a completely open source project which may give it its biggest boost.
I’m not certain how this is going to play out in the future alongside the Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight approaches. Though Flash is ubiquitous and the video runtime choice of most, this could change if a runtime approach like Chrome changed the ground rules and made it much easier to assemble content and deliver it.