Google Chrome Announced

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.

As commercial-yet-open source advocates, Apple and Google both seem to be making high level and directional moves. Google with Gears, both with WebKit, and what many see as Apple’s key, strategic move: not allowing Flash to be delivered on the fastest growing mobile platform out there, the iPhone, since doing so would help to accelerate this container over the arguably leaner and less CPU-intensive Javascript.

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.

About Steve Borsch

I’m CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you’re already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.


  1. David Gerard says:

    “We are so, so happy with Google Chrome,” mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. “That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement.” –

  2. Its very interesting that Google has decided to take on a project like this. They obviously have such an interest in how people access the web, it was only a matter of time before they took things into their own hands. It is going to be very interesting to see how this pans out.

    Google Chrome browser Screenshots

  3. Jason Baker says:

    My biggest issue with Google Chrome — lack of smooth scrolling. I couldn’t play with the browser for more than 15 minutes before feeling dizzy. Back to firefox for me.

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