Google Chrome What Does it Mean? – It’s Official – The Search Wars Just Turned into Operating System War

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SEARCH WARS now OPERATING SYSTEM WAR – It’s official the search war just turned into the Web 2.0 operating system war. Philip Lenssen just posted what looks like a early version of what Google will be announcing tomorrow – Google Chrome

Folks this is the operating system war in full action. One between Microsoft and Google. Google is coming out with their own browser called Chrome.

This browser is a direct maneuver to block Microsoft IE8 (and other msft moves) from cutting off Google’s ‘hooks’ in search and desktop environments. People (like me) who have been following Google since their inception know that they have infested the desktop with little ‘hooks’ into search which translated into adwords and adsense – e.g. toolbar, tracking, and other services. These little hooks provide the superior user experience in navigation and search as well as power the money printing machine at Google (their ad business).

Google’s dominance in search and user navigation experience is at risk with IE8. Why? Because Microsoft’s window of opportunity to leverage their current (and eroding) monopoly in their operating system and browser market share is closing. This Chrome product is a direct answer to that Microsoft push.

Google’s browser is just that – a competitive strategy to maintain their stronghold and defend their current search offering.

Chrome – Beyond Search

Chrome goes beyond search. Google having a browser (Chrome) is strategic. It’s just one piece of the user environment (aka the edge software) that Google needs to own to have a fully functional operating system. By making Chrome open source Google sends a message to the army of software developers that the Google platform is worthy to develop ontop of. Also Google garners the support from a growing and rabid community of developers while deflect any policy and antitrust discussions.

From a platform perspective Chrome as an open source development project increases the range of edge devices that the software can be ported to. I am talking about Android both phone and set top box environments. Open sourcing the project is good for developers and if played right great for Google. We will see which company is friendlier to developers – meaning how does each platform vendor incorporate new developer technology.

Impact on Startups

I am very bullish on Chrome as a good thing to push competition and innovation. It will be a good thing for startups to leverage this massive platform shift. For startups it’s an opportunity if you can see the vision of these platforms then intersect a business or technology deal into it.

Good Luck Google and I hope to see startups and 3rd party technology in the platform. For me success will be judged by the user experience and the amount of 3rd party participation. Google will fail if they can’t build a developer ecosystem around their platform.

From Phil Lenssen on the details on Google Chrome – Thanks Phil for breaking this story. This is a big deal.

Google gives the technical details into a project of theirs: an open source browser called Google Chrome. The book points to, but I can’t see anything live there yet. In a nut-shell, here’s what the comic announces Google Chrome to be:

  • Google Chrome is Google’s open source browser project. As rumored before under the name of “Google Browser”, this will be based on the existing rendering engine Webkit. Furthermore, it will include Google’s Gears project.
  • The browser will include a JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8, built from scratch by a team in Denmark, and open-sourced as well so other browsers could include it. One aim of V8 was to speed up JavaScript performance in the browser, as it’s such an important component on the web today. Google also say they’re using a “multi-process design” which they say means “a bit more memory up front” but over time also “less memory bloat.” When web pages or plug-ins do use a lot of memory, you can spot them in Chrome’s task manager, “placing blame where blame belongs.”
  • Google Chrome will use special tabs. Instead of traditional tabs like those seen in Firefox, Chrome puts the tab buttons on the upper side of the window, not below the address bar.
  • The browser has an address bar with auto-completion features. Called ’omnibox’, Google says it offers search suggestions, top pages you’ve visited, pages you didn’t visit but which are popular amd more. The omnibox (“omni” is a prefix meaning “all”, as in “omniscient” – “all-knowing”) also lets you enter e.g. “digital camera” if the title of the page you visited was “Canon Digital Camera”. Additionally, the omnibox lets you search a website of which it captured the search box; you need to type the site’s name into the address bar, like “amazon”, and then hit the tab key and enter your search keywords.
  • As a default homepage Chrome presents you with a kind of “speed dial” feature, similar to the one of Opera. On that page you will see your most visited webpages as 9 screenshot thumbnails. To the side, you will also see a couple of your recent searches and your recently bookmarked pages, as well as recently closed tabs.
  • Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an “incognito” window “and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer.” The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Google’s use-case for when you might want to use the “incognito” feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoft’s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a “porn mode.”
  • Web apps can be launched in their own browser window without address bar and toolbar. Mozilla has a project called Prism that aims to do similar (though doing so may train users into accepting non-URL windows as safe or into ignoring the URL, which could increase the effectiveness of phishing attacks).
  • To fight malware and phishing attempts, Chrome is constantly downloading lists of harmful sites. Google also promises that whatever runs in a tab is sandboxed so that it won’t affect your machine and can be safely closed. Plugins the user installed may escape this security model, Google admits.


Kara Swisher has some insight. I like how she talks about the cold war moving to a frontal attack. Other notable posts – Mathew Ingram as always has laser focus post and Marshall at RWW – hints to what I called on as the Modern Browser.

Author: John

Entrepreneur living in Palo Alto California and the Founder of SiliconANGLE Media

64 thoughts on “Google Chrome What Does it Mean? – It’s Official – The Search Wars Just Turned into Operating System War”

  1. I think its great for competition. More choices for the end user will drive competition and innovation. Let the games (er battles) begin!

  2. the safety of the webapp windows would come from how they are launched.

    if they launch from a existing window, then its problematic. but if they launch form a desktop icon or similar static item then its less so (unless those phishers find a way to create those. oh wait, trojans).

  3. Bravos, John. Well done. Perhaps the most important strategic question we should be asking is “What is your Chrome strategy?” This is certain to change to landscape and, if nothing else, encourage an even more robust IE8 as the browser and OS wars begin in earnest.

  4. Not sure that anyone is losing market share. The market is increasing at an enormous rate. It’s not only about punter retention but giving the rising markets in India, China, South East Asia, South America and even Africa more and more users a quick efficient OS.
    There is more than enough to go round.
    I’ve been a big FF user eversince it was introduced 3 years ago but more and more Google keep thenselves interested in what we want. Its open source.
    Ok. so they run a few ads on the side of my mail at least I don’t have to pay monopoly cost to keep my equipment running smoothly.
    The code crunchers will always find things to moan about. Thats the ego and the nature of IT.
    We run a very efficient multi – media company and I love the difference Google gives me to great effect. The Baldchemist

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  6. With the launch of Google’s new browser the company also gave a press conference where they went into detail about certain specs of the new browser Chrome. If you haven’t downloaded it by now I encourage you to try it. The download and install process are both extremely fast and takes less than a minute to complete.

    Google’s presentation started with explaining how their browser named Chrome works, they also acknowledged how complex their new product is. Clean and simple is what Google is aiming for with the releases of their latest software related product. Webkit is the core of the browser which is an open source rendering engine, Safari also uses the same engine for their application. Google claims that the browser is just another application and want that people forget they are using a browser when they are surfing the internet. Each tab within the browser runs independently, this makes the browser much faster in increases it’s level of responsiveness. During surfing when one tab of the browser slows down it’s possible just to shut down the tab during browsing and it won’t affect the other tabs and application which are opened withing the browser at that time. Something like this isn’t present in the current browsers like Firefox or explorer which makes this feature exclusive to Google Chrome.

  7. Google Chrome is actually unbelievably fast. It comes with a dictionary, simple design, “Porn Mode” ;), and the most visited page. It must be double the speed of IE and it opens up the second you click on it. You HAVE to try it.

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  9. Like it or not Windows is the predominant OS. Sure there is Mac OS and Linux as well, but really no other OS has the plethora of applications both commercial and open source to rival Windows (yet). Google’s new upcoming OS won’t be replacing most people’s desktop operating systems anytime soon, you won’t be able to play games on it for a start.

    Sure a cloud based operating system is a great idea, but unless it is for a tablet PC / Netbook or Laptop it isn’t of much use; a cloud based OS won’t be able to support gaming and some applications that rely on propietry operation system APIs and languages to function correctly.

    Google switching to Linux makes sense, but they won’t ever be able to completely migrate to Linux for quality and testing reasons. Also, most operating systems are quite secure, it’s the software that interfaces with the operating system itself that is the cause of most exploits in all major operating systems and rarely within the operating system itself.

    Cloud based computing still has a little while to go before it can truly replace an operating system.

  10. internet explorer always fails at least on my computer and safari loads way faster even on a pc so I think that people should stop using EI and get Safari and google cause I think bing isn’t that popular.

  11. Have not yet experience how Google chrome work on my computer. That is why i have to ask the meaning of this window. Anyway,You may as will given me the opportunity to welcome my interest to be part of it. Thanks

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