I predicted wrongly 2 years ago that Google would make their own OS. Today with Chrome I have been redeemed!
Well ok not exactly. I was still far off both by time and result, but the thinking is the same. In order for Google to roll out the kind of products they want to work in the way they want, they have to deal with the environment their apps work in, and that means working with the browser – which so far makes varied results. It therefore makes sense they make their own browser given the ever higher level of complexity they want their apps to do.
The average Joe is probably aware we developers hate IE, but may not completely know why. Explaining why is not the point of this post, but let me just tell you – IE sucks seriously big time. Anyone who’s ever had to deal with CSS, UTF or language standards, or Java for example, will understand why developers have thinning hair or zero social life as they spend too much time trying to get their apps to work on IE. Firefox helped save them a bit with its standards compliancy, but has so far not been entirely reliable imho, and it still lags behind with approximately 30% market share. I love it and support it, but it’s been crashing on me recently, and anyone who knows code knows that a crashing browser is serious stuff.
So where’s the Microsoft in all this (other than my disliking IE)?
Now that I see Google creating its own computer based program (as opposed to web-based), I am reminded of MS’s age – old strategy of creating its own operating environment. On the surface of course, to promote the stable operation of its applications and predictably advertised as for the benefit of its users, but secondarily and rather disguisedly, to kick out everyone else.
The big difference though is the two companies’ reputation.
MS did that so often and so brazenly that no one trusts them anymore. Go to any web board, blog or tech news site and every MS move is met by suspicion and distrust.
Google of course still enjoys the high moral ground. ‘Do No Evil’ says it all, and people like and enjoy that.
But will they still after this?
Controlling the browser is the next step after controlling the search engine. Having such power is akin to controlling the information we rely on on a daily basis. If for example, something is not listed in Google, to many it may as well not exist at all. A successful implementation of their browser would make them even more powerful, at a position of control even stronger than before.
There’s really nothing we can do about it. It’s just a company that’s doing the right thing every step of the way. As such they are gaining ground more and more. The only thing that bothers me is that you could say exactly the same thing about MS ten years ago. The only difference between then and now is the level of trust, but even that can change.