Not just Chrome

The next step in Google’s march towards world domination appears to be Chrome. It is not that odd that Google aims for the web browser market, after all, they are providing web services and a tight integration with the client counterpart could just benefit their business. What is odd is that they try to enter the crowded market with a brand-new product. The most used web browser by far, at least according to the statistics is Internet Explorer which has the power of defaultness – i.e. it is the default browser on every Windows machine. Then, at a distance, Firefox is next widely used with a 16% share. Next is Safari at 3% and all the rest at 1% and below. For Chrome’s success, two factors are strongly needed – google needs to show marketing muscle and Chrome needs to be a superior product.

And this appears to be perfectly clear to Google, just have a look at the Chrome presentation.
Chrome is impressive for several things, the main reason is that it has been built from scratch. The Internet today is a very different place from what it used to be 10 years ago and architectures tailored for a simpler world may no longer suit today’s needs.

Computers as well have gone far on the roads of memory and computing power. What held as mandatory 10 years ago, may be ignored today. Take for example the “Threads are faster than processes” assumption, though still valid in principle, could be pointless on today’s hardware for most applications. Processes are safer, we know that from the dawn of computer science because different operations are insulated from each other.

Chrome will be open source. I think this is more of a need than a free decision. Today Google handles a lot of sensitive information – they have your mail, they have your documents, your photos, they know which sites you have visited, and so on. In change, you have free services, and their word they are not going to do any evil with all that knowledge about you.
A closed browser from Google would raise such privacy concerns that could seriously prevent its acceptance.

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