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August 26, 2004

Google browser

Last summer, Anil Dash suggested that it would be a good move for Google to develop a Google browser based on Mozilla. Give that kid a gold star because it looks more than plausible. Mozilla Developer Day 2004 was recently held at the Google Campus. Google is investing heavily in JavaScript-powered desktop-like web apps like Gmail and Blogger (the posting inferface is now WYSIWYG). Google could use their JavaScript expertise (in the form of Gmail ubercoder Chris Wetherell) to build Mozilla applications. Built-in blogging tools. Built-in Gmail tools. Built-in search tools. A search pane that watches what you're browsing and suggests related pages and search queries or watches what you're blogging and suggests related pages, news items, or emails you've written. Google Toolbar++. You get the idea. [Kottke]
Now there's a possibility I haven't thought much about. But now I'll give it some thought. It would answer some of the objections I have to Google's insanely high market cap. If Google produced such a browser, and did it soon, then they would perhaps have a chance of displacing significant share from IE. And the result is that they would have their own highly popular, cross-platform desktop app, possibly eventually being as convenient to use as other desktop apps such as Outlook, while using Google's facilities on the back end for searching and storage.

The existence of such a cross-platform app could even make Linux a better alternative as desktop OS than it is now.

Hmm...

August 26, 2004 in Web/Tech | Permalink

Comments

'The existence of such a cross-platform app could even make Linux a better alternative as desktop OS than it is now.'

Not to toot the linux-on-the-desktop horn too much, but they'd have to write a *lot* of rich-client-esque code to do that.

Pretty much all browser-based apps are now, if anything, *better* in firefox than MSIE; and firefox is identical on either platform.

still, I think you might just be onto something here ;)

Posted by: Justin Mason at Aug 26, 2004 6:13:43 PM

"Pretty much all browser-based apps are now, if anything, *better* in firefox than MSIE; and firefox is identical on either platform."

That could be, but I would expect google to add capabilities that go beyond regular browser-based apps -- they'd be adding native code to the mozilla code base..

I believe the Mozilla is GPL'd, so that that code wouldn't be proprietary to Google's browser... BUT since Google's services undoubtedly have a high dependency on Google's servers, it won't matter! They won't be usable by anyone else.

Posted by: Gary Robinson at Aug 26, 2004 6:33:37 PM