Monday, September 08, 2008

Browser Wars:

By now, you've probably downloaded, installed and been underwhelmed by Google's Chrome. And, unless you are a minimalist, you are wondering to yourself "what's all the hoopla about?" I agree with you. The current Chrome browser is nothing to get excited about. At least not for the regular user. It's less configurable than Firefox, doesn't support plug-ins and looks plainer than Jane.

Personally, I think Google is going to struggle mightily with Chrome. Why? Because they don't have any track record of successful non-webbased software. Google search, gmail, calendar all live on the web. And if you are a software developer, you know developing for the web is several orders of magnitude easier than developing for the desktop. For one, you only have to worry about very limited varianbles on the web: everybody has a browser which sorts of acts as an abstraction over the very complicated and different hardware of each computer. In fact, the only question is does my user have javascript and/or cookies turned on? However, when you come to the desktop, it's a whole different ball game. People have vastly different hardware + software combinations.

And all that's before you come to security! So yeah I think Google is going to struggle with Chrome. Will they get it right? I think so but who knows? Do you use Google Talk?