Google's Chrome browser isn't really aimed at making your Internet browsing experience faster, easier, or more productive. It's far more audacious than that. Instead, it takes dead aim at Windows 7 and Microsoft Office, and attempts to make both irrelevant.
Google's long-term goal is clear: Dominate the enterprise and small business market in the same way it now dominates Internet search.
Its weapon is the Internet itself. Increasingly, applications are Web-based, rather than client-based. The prime purpose of an operating system, such as Windows 7, would be primarily as a foundation and support for a Web browser.
The browser in businesses is a front-end to important applications or small business applications. For the moment, these applications are often enterprise level, such as CRM. But eventually, they'll be Office applications as well. Google Docs is only the first iteration, and for now is inferior to Microsoft Office. But it may not stay that way forever.
Enter Google's Chrome browser. Google makes no bones about its purpose --- to be the way in which people interact with the world and their PCs.
Here's what Google's Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, and Linus Upson, Engineering Director say about it in their blog:
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.
The browser, Google says, is designed to run AJAX and Web 2.0 applications faster and more effectively. It is also designed to run Google Gears, which is a way to allow Web applications to interact with your desktop. So it's designed to give Google and other developers a way to build richer Web-based applications.
Will Google succeed? It certainly won't in the short term. But Chrome isn't built for the short term. It's a long-term project.
Microsoft, though, isn't standing still. IE 8 has also been designed for AJAX and Web 2.0 applications. So we're back to the browser wars. This time, though, the winner may also take over the desktop.
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