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DT:TV Case Studies

Chrome.Its shiny new. And green!

Google have released a new browser for Microsoft Windows users (Mac version on its way).

Chrome is explained here in a very geeky cartoon that you need a software engineering degree to understand.

Google launched its web browser in part to stop its rival, Microsoft, from “Balkanising” the internet by carving it up in ways that favoured its own services, the internet company’s chief executive officer said on Wednesday. Speaking in a video interview with the Financial Times at the Republican national convention in St Paul, Eric Schmidt said Google’s Chrome browser had been built mainly to create a more secure and stable platform for internet users. However, he also conceded that “there is a defensive component” to the decision as Google tries to prevent Microsoft from using its dominant Internet Explorer browser to outflank it.

When Apple announced it’s Safari browser for Windows, it didn’t make much sense – why enter the battle ground of browsers? Well, as was evident once Apple released the iPhone, Safari is a browser that helps to bridge the transition from Microsoft to Apple computing devices. Safari for Windows was more about introducing a new audience to Apple than about trying to create a better browser. Chrome’s official marketing message is about creating a more stable, safe, functional, and user-friendly online experience, the reality is more inline with Apple’s move.

Google offers significant support for Mozilla, so in theory, they don’t need a browser. But, Google also recognizes that if the web is the “new” operating system, then a browser is the key battle ground for control. Cloud computing will demand that applications are hosted online, not on people’s computers, so browsers will be the windows into that world. Thy also recognise that computers running a lot of parallel processes use a lot of power, and Chrome efficiently manages power and memory use by streamlining processes. This has to be a move towards greening the browser, and positioning themselves as the mos energy efficient, when that starts to REALLY matter to people, organisations and businesses.

Google asks us to make a simple sacrifice: they’ll make the online experience much simpler in exchange for our ongoing reliance on their products. Tying together our gmail, search, and other online activities will be a valuable addition. Focused advertising based on our online habits is the logical next step (it already happens in gmail, google groups). But Google does more. Google also promises to filter sites. In theory this is good. In actuality, this moves Google away from being a neutral provider to assigning a value statement of content.