- 2 Sep 08, 01:47 GMT
It's certainly the biggest news in the browser space since Firefox started to dent Internet Explorer's lead and many people see this as a re-ignition of the browser wars.
A few things struck me:
1. For all Mozilla's success with Firefox, it still only has a 20% market share globally. I'll be fascinated to see if the Google cachet and brand reach will be able to drive Chrome's success any higher than Firefox.
2. What does this mean for Firefox long term? Google is one of the biggest supporters of Firefox. It has contributed financially and in terms of development talent. According to PaidContent, "just last week Google extended its support of the Mozilla foundation until 2011".
Despite this, Mozilla will be feeling a little uncomfortable right now.
The two organisations are next door neighbours in Mountain View and I imagine the gnashing of teeth from Mozilla were easily heard across at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway.
3. What does this mean for Safari? Just like Safari, Chrome is built on the open source web kit browser. Does this boost Safari because they are a common platform? Or does it mean game over for Apple's hopes in the browser space? I suspect more of the latter.
4. This is going to mean more work for web developers. It may be based on open standards but undoubtedly web application designers are going to have to take into account the quirks and differences of Chrome to really exploit the browser.
5. Chrome is the open source desktop people have been demanding from Google for many years. Linux supporters have long been asking for Google to release a consumer version of the Linux OS Google itself uses internally. But Google has always resisted this. And because the browser is becoming as flexible as the desktop, Chrome, in many ways, is the open source OS people have been calling for.
6. Do we really need another browser? There's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, Flock and many, many others.
7. This is really about building a browser which leverages Google's own web applications and makes it more seamless to use functionality like Google Gears, which blurs the offline and online space. Just as Internet Explorer 8 ties in with Windows Live, Chrome will make the Google space more united.
8. We really need a better browser for mobiles and not desktops. Expect to see Chrome as part of Google's open source Android platform for mobiles.
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