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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google Chrome

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?