I’ve written extensively about Microsoft being threatened by the development of an internet-based operating system that would make Windows optional. My premise is that almost all applications are migrating online. When Windows is optional and non-Microsoft applications are a free download away, Microsoft will be in big trouble. Many of these articles are collected under this site’s GOOG label.
Guess what? The internet OS is now available from Google. It’s called Chrome and is being billed as the best browser on the market, but it’s much more significant than that.
I’ve downloaded it and was so impressed with it as a browser that it became my default over Firefox 3 within ten minutes of test driving. That’s a big testimonial because we have a rule at our office: no new apps just for the fun of it. There has to be a compelling reason to risk our perfectly functional way of getting work done to stick a toe in the notoriously risky waters of new software.
My interest in Chrome was not big. I just wanted to see how it displayed our sites, how it differed from Firefox and IE, and to generally keep on top of things for our usual ongoing research. The fact that Chrome convinced us to switch to it whole hog within ten minutes of the supposedly cursory test drive shows just how fantastic it is. Even more, though, is pondering how fantastic it will become.
We’re still in the Chrome-is-a-great-browser portion of this article. I haven’t forgotten the future OS angle, but it’s important to understand how Google will sneak its future OS platform onto everybody’s computer and then casually mention one day that it’s a full-fledged OS.
Here’s what converted our office from Firefox to Chrome in ten minutes:
So, that’s how Chrome will win the hearts of millions and earn itself the default browser slot on computers everywhere. What happens after that?
Then, there’s the ever improving Google Gears for offline access. It’s so good that MySpace used it to offload much of the processing for its messaging inbox and friendslist. Previously, people had to wait for requests to be received, processed, and sent back from the server. Not now. Thanks to Gears, much of the processing happens on the user’s own computer and working with MySpace is nearly as fast as working with a native desktop application.
People much tech savvier than I are already talking about the ease with which they can now bypass the Windows part altogether and just develop applications for the browser. That was being prepared for some time now, but the preparation is officially over.
Chrome/Gears is the platform.
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