Google Chrome – Google Wants to Say It – Just Say It Sergey- It’s a Modern OS and Where is Intel?

Platform for web apps bla bla bla. A couple of observations on Chrome – It’s good, it’s an OS, and where the hell is Intel. Multi-process?? Hello multicore on the desktop – Hello Intel? Wake up.

I think that Google is being smart by not calling attention to the OS issue. Why? Because the definition of an OS favors Microsoft – and all the legacy baggage with PC centric stuff. Why get into that conversation – just let the technology speak for itself. We need a redefinition of what a modern OS is?

The reality is that this is an operating system for a modern environment – web centric computing. Google is proud and should be. They have been focused on advancing computer science to provide a better users experience rather than fluff marketing. Oh yeah why not make a few more billion in the process.

When I had a moment with Sergey to talk he was excited (except not having a Mac version). Expect a Mac version in short order. Sergey is emailing the team daily he said. Anyway it was interesting yesterday when Sergey outright dismissed the operating system question yesterday by Rob Hof of Businessweek. He then goes on to answer my strategic question about V8. After Rob’s question I asked Sergey the following question:

John F: “so Lars (super guru on V8) said that the three components of the v8 are: Compiler, Linker/Loader, and Memory management.. is that correct.”

Sergey responses “Hmm .. Right on John (nice pickup) yes except I wouldn’t call the 2nd piece a Linker”….

I can see that Sergey was parsing the semantics of the question and certainly didn’t realize that he just admited that this is a modern OS. He right in a traditional sense, but it’s an OS from my seat. It’s not a full blown OS as we know by Microsoft’s definition but certainly it is by computer science and Google’s definition. Linking is the process of combining various pieces of code and data together to form a single executable that can be loaded in memory. Compiler, Linker, Memory Management – V8 OS engine has some compelling features for loading more code to be executed. Very good for developers.

The elephant in the room is that Google is an OS. It’s a good thing. We need a new OS – a modern one. What that will end up meaning is still under development by the top comp sci guys around the world (and they are employed by Google).

To me it’s search, advertising, new software model, communications technology (broadband), and collaboration tools.

One thing that no one picked up yesterday – Where is Intel? Is Intel sleeping at the wheel on this? Google just validated Multi-core. This is relevant to Intel on the desktop. Multiprocess software needs multicore computing power. Where is Intel on this? If Intel was worried that cloud computing will kill their multicore desktop business then that is over. All Intel has to do is keep serving up multicore “crack” to Google engineers and the desktop will be a robust edge client to a ever growing ‘cloud’ and ‘datacenter’.

I think that Google’s advances are important to Intel. The desktop computing paradigm isn’t going away – just the definition of an OS is.

Entire Video and My Notes from Google Chrome Briefing – Web Sites and Web Services are the New Application

Update: Here is the actual video of the entire Google presentation.

Here are my raw notes from the Google Chrome briefing. Walt Mossberg has a review up. Kara Swisher is going postal – pun intended she is liveblogging. GigaOm, Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, Wired, Cnet, NYTimes, Reuters, LA Times, ..all are here.  I posted yesterday about this – it’s an operating system war.

Google founders came to meet and great the press and guys like me. Here are my notes from the event.

Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, is giving an overview.

WebKit core technology behind android. Why Webkit? Speed.

Multiprocess architecture – hmm Intel will love this? Each tab has it’s own process.

Google is trying to ease the pain of users regarding crashes. Each tab on the browser has it’s own process so if there is a crash – one app crashes the entire browser doesn’t go down.

Security? Sandbox – each app is silo’d so apps can’t read/write across apps.

Underlying technology is good for apps. Because Google started from scratch

V8 is the innovation – It’s basically a virtual machine – it’s a javascript engine written from scratch. It executes faster and is tied to each multi process or app. Lars Google’s tech guru talks about V8.

Stability Speed, and App support.

Chrome is designed for multiplatform but only windows at the moment. Mac and Linux coming soon. Day 1 Chrome is over 100 countries in 43 languages.

Fully open source – completely open source. Google is mining the best from open source and giving back via open source. Of course their backend is a service so there is no license issue. Google is building proprietary glue around open source code they selected – that is not available. That is Google’s IP. Developers win by leveraging new hooks. As Google advances so do the application and services developers.

Ben who is in charge of the UI – says that it’s not just a content viewer. Building on success of simplicity of the Google homepage. More of a window mgr for apps. Lightweight window. First thing was tab browsing – hmm navigation. Google’s bread and butter has been providing a great experience in providing navigation (to content and to ads).

Navigation is the key to design. The address bar is just the toolbar built into the address bar. Omnibox is the name of the Google address bar. Microsoft called it autosearch that’s been around for a while. Autosearch has been the target for navigation highjacking for years and now Google will own it. They renamed it but now its under Google’s control. No real innovation on address bar – it’s just autocomplete and search UI.

Chrome does have a nice feature what I call learning mode – where it sees what you do on your favorite sites – navigation choices are built into the address bar. Some sort of “metareasoning”. This shows Google’s focus on software innovation. Hope to see more of this kind of AI-lite functionality.

Bookmarks bring the search paradigm to site management and web service. Default homepage is the bookmark tabs. Kind of session restore as a default web page. Google is clear that they are not putting any Googles services embedded in the browser – hmm I don’t see it that way.

For the about time feature (meaning it’s about time someone did this) – It’s called Incognito mode (aka Porn mode): incognito window – all browsing will not be stored in browser history.

One goal of Chrome is to create the invisible browser. Example downloading content (e.g. music). Managing downloads is easy. Can interact with downloads even if they are still in process – ability to drag and drop while downloading (to desktop to a folder). The user experience is awesome independent of what is happening behind the scences (eg the download being completed)

Tab management. Love the drag and drop of tabs. For people who have many tabs open this is a dream.

Darren Fisher, tech lead for Chrome, talks about what’s under the hood. Biggest problem is the browser crashing to take down the entire browser session (all tabs). Point here is that browsing web pages is over. We are really browsing (or interacting) with applications – web services like gmail, media site,. etc

Multiprocess architecture is the heart of the design. Secuirty benefits come from this architecture – Sandbox – strips down all privilege to nothing but browsing. No way for bad guys to get in – separating the rendering engine from the process for the application adds a layer of security.

Task manager shows each tab as a process. If a page hangs the tabs stay available to manage the rest of the pages.

Plugins – 3rd party either Netscape style or native. Code is open source.

Performance – static content and dynamic content

Lars Bach – web tech lead presents v8. brand new engine – take care of the future of web applications. Virtual machine expertise. This guy Lars is excited who wouldn’t be Google is pouring some serious computer science into delivering on this mission.

Javascript is the new standard for next generation of web applications and user experience. Software advances applied to ‘stale’ current standards. A new software model – this is the foundation of an operating system – 3 components: 1) compiler, 2) “javascript loader” (kind of a linker loader), and 3) memory management.

Javascript engine in V8 is optimized in Chrome. This allows for dynamic access and management of 3rd party sites and applications. A turbo javascript of some sorts.

Question that i didn’t get to ask: what is the dependence on windows? I remember the old saying at msft years ago – job not done til lotus doesn’t run. What will msft do now – job not done til Chrome doesn’t run

Chrome code is at code.google.com is available on open source basis.

Sergey said: Over two years of work – not a me-too browser but something completely different – This is a paradigm shift.

Larry is talking about the comp science effort – many google employees have been using it for a long time.

I get the feeling like this is Google’s Moon Shot. Tons of passion by the founders on this project.

I asked the question on video user experience – no answer on video innovation in this browser beta – they said that this first rev is about getting webkit done right and the basic innovation and superior user experience. Video advances will come later or from a 3rd party via a plug in.

End of the session

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

NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

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 www.google.com/chrome, 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.

Update:

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 BroadDev.com as the Modern Browser.

Android is Centerpiece of the Google Equation for the Edge

Talk about bleeding edge. Google Android might just be the software platform for developers. Venturebeat has a great post – actually Eric’s story trumps the NYTimes story imho.

I posted on Broadband Developments blog (BroadDev.com) my views on how I see these kinds of strategic efforts killing the Unified Communications vendors effort to win the platform.

More importantly is the advances in software that Google is developing. It is being architected as an operating system for sure. Google’s core asset is the distributed datacenters that power search and then new edge devices. All Google needs is it’s own communications backbone.

“Cloud Bandwagon” is the Hottest Trend in Tech – Wait That’s Web 2.0

I love how the bandwagon of cloud computing it hitting on all time high. Everyone is about the cloud even AT&T.  Today AT&T announced it is joining the Cloud Bandwangon. AT&T said Tuesday that it will offer cloud computing services via a new service dubbed AT&T Synaptic Hosting. AT&T is just the latest company to join the cloud computing game. Everyone from traditional IT giants like HP and IBM to Amazon and Google have cloud computing services catering to companies ranging from enterprise giants to startups.

The category of the “Cloud” is the new branding or categorically sector for all the big infrastructure players. Cloud computing is the new category that we’ll all keep score on who is the best vendor.

Why is cloud computing such a hit for these companies? It’s because it spans multiple sectors – enterprise datacenter, web services, consumer, virtualization, security. It’s sort of a convergence between intranets, DMZ, extranet, and outside web all in one.

It’s a land grab and yet it’s so unknown. It’s a marketing dream for a big vendor to say ‘we own the cloud’.

My take: it can’t be owned. Lock-in is harder in today climate. Old lock in tactics don’t work in today’s infrastructure.

What are the new lock-in tactics? We’ll be covering all the cloud computing trends on BroadDev.com (my new blog on cloud computing among other topics).

Right now Google, VMWare, and Amazon are putting on a clinic in the cloud area. Everyone else is an also ran.

“Apples and Googles” More Like “Apples and Pears” – Bad News for Enterpreneurs? Where’s the Halfway House –

All the talk about companies being sold, founders getting ousted, and ventures failing or being killed by VCs. This seems to be the trend in Silicon Valley and around the world. The captial markets are a mess. The Wall Street Journal has a story on it today in a post called “Who’s going to fund the next Steve Jobs?”. James Freeman really nails this story and highlights very accurately the ugly trend being witnessed by many entrepreneurs out there right now. This is a big problem with serious economic implications.

This post hits home with me because I’m an entrepreneur living in this market with four kids and it ain’t pretty. The capital markets are in the tiolet and founders around the world are working hard to find no buyers of their ideas or products. It’s a bootstrapping market. The entreprenerial market isn’t broken or starved for good ideas and needed innovation. Instead the ecosystem is stuck in the sand. Incubators are clearly seeing the action and see the need for innovation. Some bright lights are shining out there like Y Combinator among others, but overall it’s pretty dark.

What does this mean?
Bad news for entrepreneurs short term and bad news for innovation long term. M&A doesn’t yield innovation. Passionate and skilled entrepreneurs need the runway to make their visions happen. Lack of exit stunts the available growth capital needed for those next big ‘Apples and Googles”. Big ventures take 3-5 years to develop. Problem today is that capital isn’t founder friendly. Founders getting ousted after one year doesn’t make innovation happen. I’m seeing more founders on the street then ever before. There needs to be a new financial model or new incubator model (or halfway house) for founders and entrepreneurs. Y Combinator calls it a startup for startups.

Big problem is that initial public offerings of young companies had become rare. Venture-backed IPOs in 2005 and 2006 were far below the levels of the early 1990s, never mind the boom years that followed. A recovery in the early months of 2007 still didn’t push IPO numbers anywhere close to the number of young companies being acquired by bigger, more established firms.

Love this passage from James Freeman of the WSJ. “This is bad news for the U.S. economy. Does anyone think that we would be better off if Bill Gates and Michael Dell had sold out to corporate behemoths early in their careers, instead of leading their firms for years as public companies? Would consumers enjoy the same vibrant market in Web services if Yahoo had gobbled up a nascent Google? How powerful would our computers be if Intel had become an IBM subsidiary, instead of going public in 1971?”

“Of course we can’t run these experiments. What we do know is that entrepreneurial drive, combined with venture investors’ money and experience, plus access to the public markets, equaled a tech revolution and an industry that is the envy of the world. That model may be collapsing.”

“True, investment in U.S. venture funds is holding up well despite the market downturn, with investors pouring $9 billion into this asset class in the second quarter. But over the long term, venture investments have to result in a healthy number of home-run IPOs to justify the risks and offset the inevitable failures. The industry cannot continue raising the money to fund American innovation if its returns trail the stock market indexes, as they did for the five-year period through 2007.”

“Some have ascribed the broken venture model to the “cheap revolution,” meaning that, thanks to earlier innovations, the tools to create new tech products are so cheap that entrepreneurs don’t even need funding from venture capitalists. That’s great, but we’re not seeing a flood of IPOs of young companies built without venture money, nor the creation of lots of privately held global powerhouses. By and large, founders of Internet startups are not creating companies with the dream of conquering the world, but rather with the intention of selling to Google, eBay, Yahoo or Microsoft.”

“Our society should be encouraging these entrepreneurs to dream big. Instead, they’re looking for the exit before they have to deal with the burdens of our public markets.”

“An acquisition generally means that the founders move on, see projects they championed get axed, and watch old colleagues get fired. How many company founders would aspire to conduct a sale of the business instead of a public offering, absent some bizarre and unnatural conditions in the market?”

Of course I’m biased but founders and entrepreneurs need to be in charge. Never fire the founder in a changing market.

Note: Steve Jobs was ousted by his investors (Venrock Associates) only to come back and change the world a second time. Can you imagine August Capital firing Bill Gates. Good venture capitalists understand the long term value of entrepreneurship not just the quick flip.

Breaking: Google buy Russian Ad Agency Begun from Rambler Media – The Global Growth Plan

Update: Google is timing a blog post around their international plans. Plans to expand to 40 languages. The international growth is very real for Google both on the ad side and the search side. Connecting the dots makes you wonder about how strong the long term prospect are for Google. I’m bullish on the growth plan.

Breaking right now is that Google is buying the Russian Ad Agency. What this means is growth internationally. While some nickle dime the Google financials, Google is rolling. Buying Begun begins their international growth plan. Expect higher revenue growth from Google with this move. As ICANN is in shambles Google has a global opportunity.

Rambler Media (RMG.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the British-registered owner of Russia’s Rambler Internet portal, said on Friday it has agreed to sell the Begun advertising agency to Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) for $140 million.

Rambler, which currently owns 50.1 percent of Begun, said in a statment it would first buy the remaining 49.9 percent stake from Bannatyne Limited and then sell the entire firm to Google.