Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Victoria Livschitz, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Open Web, SOA & WOA, Search

Open Web: Article

Cloud Computing Expo - Google Chrome & Browser War III

Google said Chrome will initially run only on Windows Vista and XP

With Chrome, Google gets to scare the bejesus out of Microsoft by revitalizing Netscape’s old browser-as-platform threat and keep Firefox around as a fallback position in case Chrome doesn’t catch on or is slow in catching on, all the while maintaining the goodwill of the “community.” Firefox currently holds ~18% of the market to Microsoft’s ~75%.

Google has come out from behind the Firefox browser that it's been pumping money into - and profiting royally from - to take direct aim at Microsoft with a browser of its very own.

The widgetry is called Google Chrome and Google Chrome, like all of Google's non-search widgetry, is a beta.

Presumably that means it's going to be like Google's apps and be interminably in beta since Google's own blog says the timing is "a bit early," well, at least a day earlier than intended as a result of a hair-trigger mailroom that on Monday FedEx'd a 38-page comic book - yes, a comic book - memorializing the new browser's features to Google's nearest and dearest. (http://blogoscoped.com/google-chrome/)

Making the best of things, Google said Chrome will initially run only on Windows Vista and XP. The Mac and Linux versions haven't reached beta status yet forcing Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who uses a Mac, to run Chrome on VMware.

Advertised as being built from scratch and a "rethink" of the browser made more suitable for the modern web, Chrome was released Tuesday afternoon in 122 countries and 43 languages. Google described it as "clean and fast" so people "forget" they're on a browser.

Google said, "It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go."

It was only a few days ago that Google - the "do no evil" company - re-upped its financial arrangement with Mozilla, which was scheduled to end this November. It extended the deal three years until November of 2011.

It's been Google's millions - hundreds of millions by now - that have kept Firefox alive and Google has presumably reaped billions from Firefox' Google defaults in return.

But Google apparently wants to be its own gatekeeper - the browser is the threshold to search, isn't it?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is concerned that IE8 could hurt its search business by, say, preventing it from collecting information relevant to its booming advertising business and offering a more Microsoft-centric search bar.

With Chrome Google gets to scare the bejesus out of Microsoft by revitalizing Netscape's old browser-as-platform threat and keep Firefox around as a fallback position in case Chrome doesn't catch on or is slow in catching on, all the while maintaining the good will of the "community."

Firefox, which might have started asking for more money and which Google said it expects to come to resemble Chrome - (perhaps it really means disappear into Chrome) - currently holds ~18% of the market to Microsoft's ~75%.

Google has been seriously working on the "GBrowser" project for two years, give or take, ever since it poached some prime Mozilla talent for the cause. Since then the widgetry has reportedly been through at least one serious rewrite and goodness knows how many UI iterations.

Chrome is open source and Google has set up an open source project called Chromium so developers can pile on. The beta is, after all, according to Google "only step one." It's using a permissive BSD license.

The mojo includes a new JavaScript rendering engine called V8 that's supposed to speed up the fancy new rich interactive AJAX applications (RIA) being written for the web - and web apps are, of course, a threat to Microsoft, especially ones Google may have up its sleeve.

V8, by the way, which was written by a bunch of Danish coders, is supposed to be able to run in any browser to accelerate JavaScript by a factor of 100, and speed for Google translates into more searches.

It's supposed to enable a whole new class of web applications but not all web apps are JavaScript.

Chrome also includes Google Gears so applications can run offline - one might expect integration with Google Talk, Gmail, Google Calendar etc. - and it's based on Webkit, the KDE-owing open source application framework used by Apple's Safari browser and Google's Android OS. Google said it picked Webkit so developers wouldn't have to learn still another technology.

Chrome borrows a so-called privacy or "porn mode" from Microsoft called Incognito in Google-speak that will hide where the machine you're using has been (cops everywhere should love that one) - but won't mean the sites you visit won't know you've been there.

Chrome's tabs, borrowed from Firefox, appear above the address bar and are supposed to be the prime navigational element.

Each tab runs its own process, so each is a separate browser, sandboxed for stability and security. A problem in one tab won't bring the whole browser down.

And Chrome's so-called Omnibox, its address bar-cum-search bar, is supposed to make useful search suggestions, in part based on the sites you've been to, and your most visited sites should appear as thumbnails.

Google claims Chrome doesn't load the dice for Google Search but Omnibox is obviously going to push users into more searches.

Observers like the rehabilitated Henry Blodget and Lehman Brothers analyst Doug Anmuth take Chrome for a cloud operating system that Blodget says Google will pay PC makers to install on stripped-down machines and over time create a serious threat to Windows and the Microsoft monopoly.

And according to Google's blog Chrome is "not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications."

At a webcast press conference Tuesday Brin unconvincingly denied the idea that Chrome is an "operating system for web apps" but not that it couldn't be.

Google wouldn't talk about the number of developers it's had working on Chrome but vice-president of product management Sundar Pichai described it as "a huge investment for us."

The Journal's ace product reviewer, the revered Walt Mossberg, who said he had been playing with Chrome for the last week, comparing it to other browsers, described it as "rough around the edges" and lacking some common browser features like a simple command for e-mailing links and pages.

He also said that its bold new stripped-down design, which leaves behind most menus and toolbar icons, would "require some adjustment on the part of users" and that despite Google claims of being faster than a speeding bullet it was actually slower than Firefox or Safari at launching web pages.

Bottom line - Mossberg likes Microsoft's new IE8, out last week in a second beta, better than Chrome.

See www.google.com/chrome.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from ha...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...