SEO News
Search

Google OS Arrives, In the Form of a Browser

newcomb-kevin
by , Comments

Rumors of a "Google Operating System" have been around for a few years now, fueled by Google's expansion into e-mail, analytics, desktop search, Web applications, pizza delivery...well, maybe not that.

Today, Google has made a significant step toward becoming a Web-based operating system by launching a beta version of the open-source Google Chrome browser, which has been optimized to run Web applications rather than simply rendering HTML on a page.

"All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build."

Chrome's main features include a beefed-up Javascript engine (aka V8), which will improve performance of AJAX apps like Gmail and Google Docs. It also offers better memory allocation, and an architecture that keeps apps running in separate windows as isolated processes -- so a crashed app won't bring down the browser, and security is markedly improved.

The browser includes its own URL box, which Google is calling the "Omnibox." It incorporates features from Google Suggest, browser history and search history.

As with the Google Toolbar before it, Chrome will also present an opportunity for Google to collect more user behavioral data. On the plus side, that could help Google develop better Web analytics applications. More cynically, Google can also take this mountain of user data and use it to better monetize its ad platforms.

While this move can be seen as a challenge to Microsoft on the browser front, it's more of a threat to Microsoft's Windows operating system. By developing its own open-source browser, Google is able to establish de-facto standards for Web applications.

Combined with Google Gears coming at Web applications from the developer side, and there's not much use for a desktop operating system any more.


The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES DenverSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Early Bird rates extended through Sept 19. Register today!

Recommend this story

comments powered by Disqus