I'm on "Blog-cation" which means no Blogging for Tom. No matter what.
But....I broke my rule yesterday for a quick post, and the whole Internet's going crazy about Google's new browser...so I thought...maybe one more exception.
Soooo...guess what, Google is releasing it's own web browser. It's called Chrome. You probably already knew that.
Of the accounts I've seen Nicholas Carr seems to hit the nail on the head more than anyone else.
Here's my short and sweet Chrome post: Chrome isn't revolutionary but it's a necessary step for Google. Google wants all applications to move "to the cloud" but in order to do that they have to make sure those applications are as stable as desktop applications and that means actually controlling the environment they run in (aka the Browser).
That's what Chrome is about.
Google's hope is that Google Docs will someday replace Microsoft Office but that doesn't happen with today's browsers (which are painfully easy to bring down). So Google's trying to create a more mission critical environment for web apps.
Will it work? God only knows. But in the short term I think it will decimate Firefox because most of those customers are folks that will jump to the newest thing. Though the one thing standing in the way of that jump is all the Firefox extensions so Google would be wise to find a way to draw developers to their plug-in architecture (a contest like the one done for Android would be a good start)
Beyond that initial spurt of users I think it will probably be years before we know what impact Chrome will have. Most users aren't very proactive about their browser (IE 6.0 still has more market share than Firefox) so the question will be whether Google can find a way to entice those folks over to Chrome. That's not going to be a quick or an easy process.
P.S. I must say I'm kind of proud of myself for getting through this whole post without mentioning Eric Engstrom, Alex St. John, or Wildtangent. They aren't at all relevant but it's one heck of a story.