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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Will Chrome go to Android?

By Odd J. Vik

If you don't know what Google Android is you should, I recommend you look it up. If you are one of those brave souls that downloaded the new Google Chrome browser then you will be happy to know that Chrome will most likely be the browser of Android mobile phones according to Google developers.

With three major players—Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari—fighting the latest iteration of the browser wars, Google is set to elbow its way into the game today with Chrome, the search giant’s new, open-source software for browsing the Web.

Chrome will be a pretty aggressive piece of software. Since each new tab is effectively running a new program, the overall application will consume more and more system resources with each tab you launch. Google has amassed an army of talented programmers who put a premium on architectural simplicity. So we’re assuming this will be done with a degree of elegance. But by giving each tab in its own process, Chrome should allow Java and Flash developers to design their applications to a higher level of complexity, knowing that a glitch in their Web app will not bring down the entire browser. And if your browser can run the most sophisticated new Web applications and your competitor’s can not, that’s a pretty compelling reason for people to switch browsers

Optimized browsing is a dangerous game. If Google Apps starts to work better in Chrome than in Internet Explorer and Firefox, then I’m just as likely to stop using Google Apps as I am to start using Chrome exclusively, and I doubt this will happen. Chrome is based on the open-source WebKit architecture, and Google claims that its code will be open source, so it’s unlikely that the company is trying to corner the market on browser functionality, since innovations are eminently copyable. Instead, I’m guessing that Google will try to use its new browser to steer the direction of Web development. That’s a mighty big ship to steer, and one that tends to find its own path. And as that all plays out, Chrome will take its place as one of many browsing tools in the collective Web arsenal
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