Holy Open Source, a Google Browser!

I worked yesterday in the a.m. and then went with my wife to see the (relatively) new Woody Allen movie. (My kids were at their grandparents where we later had a BBQ.) Most of the movies I get to see these days are on planes.

In the interim some news about Google’s new browser “Chrome,” which launches today, was posted by Google Blogoscoped (based on a printed comic book received in the mail) and people went crazy; this is perhaps the ultimate G vs. M story. Here’s the official Google Blog post. (Here’s my post at SEL.) The comic book explains the rationale and intentions behind the project.

The logic of Google’s move here makes sense given that the browser is the gateway to the cloud — a sort of OS lite for the Internet era — and Google has competitive concerns regarding IE8. But it also has powerful, direct competitive implications for Google partner Firefox, which has been gaining steadily on IE (Microsoft’s share of the browser market stands at roughly 72%, according to various sources).

Here’s a GigaOM interview with Mozilla CEO John Lilly in the wake of yesterday’s Chrome discovery about the implications (he’s taking a wait and see attitude).

The Chrome browser isn’t yet available — it will be later this morning — on a global basis. One of the questions in my mind is whether the browser incorporates location awareness in some fashion.


An interesting side note, both IE8 and Chrome have privacy settings (called by some “porn mode”) that effectively undermine behavioral targeting. Both sides are likely betting that the privacy tools are welcome but won’t be used by most people. We’ll see.


5 Responses to “Holy Open Source, a Google Browser!”

  1. Tim Cohn Says:

    Can you keep us posted whether Chrome has location awareness via wi-fi triangulation or another method?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I’ll be at the press briefing and will ask the question.

  3. Mel Says:

    >> Can you keep us posted whether Chrome has location awareness via wi-fi triangulation or another method?

    That’s going to depend a lot more on the particular physical device it is running on isn’t it?

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Skyhook’s system just involves java script code. So it could be written into the browser. Mozilla is actually working on it for one of their future revs.

  5. Chrome, Google’s New Browser : Assented Order Says:

    […] Holy Open Source, a Google Browser! […]

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