Google today announced Chrome – their own version of a browser (via TechCrunch). Everyone on the Internet is talking about it. And here is my two cents on it. I dont know a lot of things from the technology perspective but the browser from Google makes a lot of business sense.
- Search Business. Search is the biggest cash cow for Google and with every new app or product, they try to integrate search with it. With a browser, they can do it even better. Every-time a user writes something in the URL bar, Google can suggest links (paid and unpaid). Every-time a user wants to click something, Google can suggest alternatives. (More on search here)
- Integration. Better embedding of all Google tools including Gmail, Calendar, Groups, Spreadsheets, Docs etc. in the browser. It will help users, developers and Google itself make better and effective applications. I can envision functionality for each Google app built in the browser.
- The Platform. In fact we might see the browser actually becoming the next platform. Developers will now make applications for the browser and all the applications can then be easily ported to all systems, devices and machines where ever that browser can be ported. The speed of application development would be very very rapid (I am assuming that it will be easy to make applications for Chrome).
- Thin Clients and Cloud Computing. We are getting closer to the thin computing. Everything (data and preferences) would reside on a server and will be accessible from everywhere you have a Google Chrome. All Google needs to overcome is the adoption bump and the network effect. With the kind of clout and fandom Google enjoys, this should not be a very difficult task. In all probability Google will add Chrome to their famous Google Pack before pushing it with other things.
- The Start Page. Everyone is trying to battle it out to become the start page for the user. From the New Facebook to Windows Live to iGoogle. Chrome can now become the start page. And in fact if things like TechCrunch’s webTablet becomes a reality, we can see a monumental change in the way Internet as we know it today. From applications to usability to accessibility.
- Analytics. More data and more analytics. Google would be able to collect data easier, faster and be more accurate. This data can then be used to come up with more business applications. Its like yet another positive feedback loop. Use of browser makes life easier for users. And use of browser helps Google collect data. With this data, Google comes out with more applications that help the users. So on and so forth.
- Artificial Intelligence. With a browser that Google owns, they can mine into the browsing patterns of people. How long to they spend on each page, how do they navigate the links. Which links are clicked most. With their Analytics software, they were already doing this for all pages that have embedded the code. Now they can do without the use of the Analytics code.
- Death of Mozilla. A large part of money at Mozilla comes from the Google Search Box (the default home page on Mozilla). With Google pushing Chrome, will we see the fund-flow drying for Mozilla? Can Mozilla survive in the browser market with two giants in Microsoft and Google? Does Chrome translates into death for Mozilla and Firefox?
- Internet Explorer. How can a rant be complete without talking about the rather infamous Internet Explorer? Already losing ground to Mozillas and Safaris and Operas of the world, Google Chrome would present a formidable challenge. And since the future is all about Internet (refer to thin clients and cloud computing above) rather than software residing on the hard-disks, this is another battle where Google and Microsoft would compete head-on. Who will win, only time shall tell.
Of all the above mentioned things, I am really excited about the browser becoming the Start Page, Thin Client and above all a Platform for everything that we do on the Internet. This for me is a New New Thing and I am really looking forward to how Chrome advances.
What is your take? What do you think is the business side of Google Chrome?
Crossposted from New New Thing