OK, one more post...But then I'm gone for the week.  For real this time! 

That said, the release of Chrome has brought back the age old question of "will the browser kill Windows" and I wanted to say something on that.  I first saw this story on Drama 2.0's website where he said...


Now I thought he was just playing word games at the time.  Trying to make Mr. Arrington look dumb through semantics.  But then I read this article in the NY Times and it gave me new perspective.  In it Joe Nocera says...

I’ve long believed that the key moment in the modern history of Microsoft can in the mid-1990s, when two key executives battled over which direction the company should go. Brad Silverberg argued that the company should stop trying to protect Windows at all costs, and embrace the Internet. James Allchin, who led the Windows team, said that the operating system was the company’s bedrock, and its biggest source of profits, and that the Windows monopoly had to be protected no matter what. (This battle is wonderfully recounted in David Bank’s much underrated 2001 book, “Breaking Windows.”)

Seeing things from that old perspective made me realize something.  "Drama" wasn't playing word games he just didn't get what was being said by the original question.  The argument back in the day of the Allchin/Silverberg rift only made sense because Windows was the only place to really develop applications for the mass market.  If you wanted your app to reach more than a few rabid Mac users Windows was the way to go.

So "The OS" really meant "The APIs used to reach the mass market" in an abbreviated manner.  When people said "Will the browser kill Windows" what they were really saying was "Will the browser become a way to break Windows' hold on the mass market" 

But in looking at it that way you realize that Windows, in that way, is already dead.  No one talks about Windows Forms or WPF (Microsofts desktop development models) anymore.  Its ASP.NET and Silverlight and beyond that Ruby on Rails, Php, JQuery, et al. 

Microsoft doesn't dictate how you reach the mass market anymore and that was the whole point of "Will the browser kill Windows" in the first place.  So the battle's already been won.  The desktop app may never fully die but the browser has already declared victory over it by becoming a viable alternative to it.