Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chrome vs. Silver

Google's surprise announcement of their very own browser project called Google Chrome is sending shock-waves across the web. And while it's not surprising that this browser will be open source, the format Google chose for the announcement certainly is: a comic book.

Google's positioning of this browser is also very interesting. While the discussion is technical, it's still fairly clear that they're promoting it as a web Operating System. See, for example, this page and also this one. They've bundled a client-side API into it in the form of Google Gears. It will be interesting to see if and how they tie this project to their server-side API Google App Engine. (Maybe they've read Joel's Strategy Letter VI).

Looking at it from this perspective it seems to me that there will be a clash between Google Chrome and Microsoft Silverlight. Interesting times ahead.

Update: David Peterson over at O'Reilly has reached similar conclusions to mine. He writes:
... the *BIG* news here isn't necessarily Chrome itself. It's V8, Google's new Javascript Virtual Machine which, when combined with Google Gears puts Google in direct competition with Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. And given WebKit already provides support for both the canvas element and SVG, what Google is about to launch is quite a bit more than "Yet Another WebKit-based Browser." It's a complete, highly optimized WebOS.

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