Monday, September 1, 2008

The New Front on Google-Microsoft Battle: Browser-Wars

WSJ is reporting that Google is launching its own browser, Chrome.  Specifically, the WSJ article notes that:
Google executives have expressed concern that existing browsers might fail to support the sort of new Web-based applications they want to develop as they seek to expand the company's influence beyond search. By building its own Web-browsing software, Google is ensuring that it will have a platform for its Internet services that needn't conform to other companies' standards.
Microsoft and Google battle each other in Internet search and in applications. Google leads in search while Microsoft is the leader in the applications with its Office Suite.  They also fight in the mobile OS arena with Microsoft spearheading Windows Mobile while Google is orchestrating its Android OS ecosystem.  
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One may have thought that the browser war is long-over but it is not as it continues to be an important part of the tecnology architecture shaping business strategies and practices in the network era.  Apple is slowly making Safari important not only for its  Macintosh computers but also for its iPhones.  It will be interesting to see the link between Chrome and Android. Here's a link to the comic book that explains Chrome.  This is a quick overview video.
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The following paragraphs from Google's blog provides some more details--mainly their rationale to create their own browser to maintain their distinctive edge in related areas. 
All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers.

This is just the beginning -- Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust.
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In network-era, the scope and shape of competition continually evolve. The playground is far from static. What will Microsoft do next?  And, will this further cool the historically strong relationship between Google and Apple? 

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