Sunday, March 8, 2009

The value of Google Chrome

A friend of mine recently posted his thoughts on the "Chrome's overinflated importance". If viewed only as a web browser then it is just another entry in the various browsers that exists out there. However, I believe the true value of Chrome will be if it can change the way people and developers look at web applications.

In many ways, advancement in web development is hindered because developers and businesses have not been able to really think outside of limits imposed by the "WWW" of 10 years ago. Another way to say is that the world wants to move to using the Internet as a platform but we are still stuck on using the WWW as the platform instead.

There has been many attempts to try to break out of that mentality. The unfortunate term "Web 2.0" was one attempt (I think) although it never clearly articulated what it really meant and is now just a overused marketing term. In some ways, "Cloud" seems to be another way to break out from the mindset of "web development" to building applications on the Internet.

Chrome's importance to me is whether it can open up the developer's mind to new possibilities by providing them a tool that goes beyond building web sites and web applications. I hope that someday the "web" will move beyond being viewed as an interactive magazine or at least let the "web" be the interactive magazine while we're also using applications on the Internet.


  1. My question here is what is it about Chrome that opens up developer minds to new possibilities? To my mind, it honestly seems no more innovative than the rest of the next gen browsers (less so than FF since it doesn't yet have an API, though it's forthcoming if not already forthcame :). I don't believe it has spurred competition any more than was already in place - if anything Safari's entrance as a real player with the launch of the mobile Safari seemed like much more a kick in FF's pants than Chrome was to any of the players. Gears is already out for other browsers, so the ability to have developers start blurring the line between web and desktop pre-existed.

  2. It felt to me that Chrome was built with the developer in mind rather then Joe Consumer. It came with functionality built-in for better debugging and they focused more on things like stability with interactions (writing email, editing documents, security) then browsing content sites. It's a browser that was designed to run apps and not just to render content.

    Did they go far enough? Maybe not, but I think they didn't just try to build another web browser.