Chrome aims to kill Windows, make Web the OS of choice

This could be the threat that Microsofties have feared since the 1990s, analysts say

Google's unveiling of a new browser is not really about trying to outmuscle the other top browsers, it's a key weapon in the company's effort to kill Windows, according to industry observers.

A beta version of the open source browser, called Chrome, is now available. Chrome includes a new JavaScript engine that Google says will power Web applications better and faster than other browsers. Google Gears, which will provide offline access and local storage for Web applications, is also embedded in the browser.

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said Chrome could be the key piece in Google's effort to convince users to replaced packaged software with Web applications.

"This is the potential threat that Microsoft has been worried about since the 1990s," he said. "You've got Web apps running inside isolated processes. It really sounds a lot like Google trying to take the Web application model and make it more viable as a replacement for the desktop PC application model. This is Google trying to really push applications to the Web and make that the way people do computing."

TechCrunch blogger Michael Arrington added that Chrome is "nothing less than a full on desktop operating system that will compete with Windows." Because Google has built its own JavaScript engine, he said, Ajax applications like Gmail and Google Docs should "absolutely roar," he added.

When combined with Google Gears - which provides offline access to Web apps - Chrome becomes a potential "Windows Killer," he contended.

"Expect to see millions of Web devices, even desktop Web devices, in the coming years that completely strip out the Windows layer and use the browser as the only operating system the user needs," Arrington continued. "That was going to happen anyway, but Chrome plus Gears just made the decision a whole lot easier for hardware manufacturers. Microsoft, meanwhile, is stuck with a bloated closed source browser that they don't even tether to their search engine for fear of more antitrust woes. Google can push their search engine and other web services all day long on Chrome, with no government interference."

Mike Masnick, president and CEO of IT research firm Techdirt, agreed that Chrome is a key part of Google's strategy top make the operating system obsolete.

"This is probably a lot more about Google trying to help everyone move beyond the operating system market," he noted. "Google knows that the way to beat Microsoft is to become the operating system -- the Internet. You do that by relegating the actual OS obsolete."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Google Chrome

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?