the beginning Bill created the operating system with browser, and he saw that it was good. On the seventh day he rested………. Fast forward past the stone tablets, telegraph and DOS, to the begining of a colossal change in browsing as we know it.
It has been a busy few days since the surprising and successful release of Google Chrome. From the start most everyone expressed their anticipation of an exceptional browsing experience. Is it bigger? Is it better? Is it more of the same? The answer is a resounding NO! It’s a new story with a whole new plot and I’m glad to be watching it happen.
Googleâ€™s comic book approach to this release is a first for software introduction and aptly sets the stage. Simply titled “Google Chrome”, it goes a long way towards describing Chromes features and benefits. At 38 pages itâ€™s a great how-to, but the real meat starts in Part Four, “Security, Sandboxing and Safe Browsing” .
As our own Dave Methvin noted on Sept 1st.,â€Chrome’s debut answers a 16-month mystery: Why did Google buy GreenBorder Technologies? I looked at GreenBorder in 2006 and thought it was a great product. Essentially, GreenBorder used some virtual machine technology to isolate programs from the operating system, but still allowed them to talk with the OS in a controlled way. The most useful job for GreenBorder was to “sandbox” a copy of Internet Explorer or Firefox to make browsing more secure.â€
This is what makes Chrome stand out from the other browsers. Sandboxing is a relatively new approach to security for programs and specifically browsers. It’s purpose is to keep you secure regardless of what’s happening to your favorite OS. In 2006 Google had enough foresight to aquire this technology and use it as the foundation for Chromes security.
Feature Improvements like Search, Google Maps, and private browsing do more than keep pace with the just released IE 8 and the never ending add-ons for Firefox. Chromes features will absolutely contribute to this popularity of the browser, but they are not the story here. Google Chrome is based on WebKit which is designed for always-on broadband connections and web applications like Google Maps and Gmail. The real story is going on in the background, out of sight. The real story is how Google is incorporating new technology to secure it’s place in a future dominated by SAAS or Cloud Computing (software as a service). Chrome has the advantage over IE 8, Firefox, and Safari because of it’s newer starting point. It will be able to achieve things older browsers aren’t capable of. Without all the bloat Chrome is able to function more efficiently, resulting in faster computing for the memory challenged or older systems.
Chrome doesn’t arrive without some substantial challenges though, and leaping the ActiveX hurdle is one of the big ones. Lots of office applications and Pitstop’s OverDrive program are incompatible without ActiveX support.
Even with these challenges, Thomas Claburn of Information week smacks it right on the head. The days of worring about which is the best operating system are coming to an end. “The desktop is dying, long live the browser.” It’s the browser that’s running the show and SaaS is the promised destination.
I first heard the term SaaS in April of this year at our company meeting. Rob Cheng gave an excellent presentation on SaaS and on PC Pitstop’s plans to be a large part of the changes that SaaS represents. Every day more programs and applications are moving to web based locations instead of sitting isolated on indivdual desktops. This greatly reduces the chance of loss due to crashed operating systems, trashed hard drives, and the never ending stream of hugely successful malware.
The high cost of software isn’t slowing this shift either. While there’s always the open source option, for many it’s not always possible to substitute “generic”. The huge success of products like Overdrive attest to the popularity of free online options
Sorry if I sound all excited, but I can’t wait to see how this Browser War shakes out. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer all battling for position on a changing terrain is almost as good as Ultimate Fighter or Deadliest Catch. For all we know the major player isn’t even in the game yet.