Globetechnology (Mathieu Balex) writes:
It is most likely developing a Google-branded version of Firefox the up-and-coming Web-browser. There is no dearth of well-supported evidence on the Web pointing to this fact. Having its own browser out there grants Google the opportunity to package all of its services in one tidy delivery channel. It also further encroaches upon Microsoft’s territory.
Most significantly however, it will be the opening move on the chessboard of next-generation desktop computing. I believe Google is vying to dethrone Microsoft as the potentate of PC dominance by pulling the rug out from underneath its feet, by changing the very rules of the operating system game itself. Not unlike its e-mail and mapping software, which are entirely Web-based, Google will release an operating system that will be completely networked and centralized on its servers. You will literally no longer need any software running on your local computer (except the Google Web-browser of course, and a network connection). The computing experience will involve booting your computer, logging into the net, and having access to all your programs (and most of your data) which will reside happily in the ether all protected and secure, we will be assured, by the good god Google.
Google will realize the vision originally put forth by Sun Microsystems (which failed to really give it any meaning) The Network is the Computer. The reason this model is so powerful is that it greatly simplifies software distribution when there’s a problem or an upgrade, only one copy of the software must be patched and everyone benefits from the update. Users will likely benefit from a more stable computing experience (if we ignore, for the moment, network congestion issues), since the OS will be configured and optimized for high-performance on massively parallel servers.
This paradigm also does away with software piracy, since any paid applications would now become subscription-based and thus impossible to hack (barring password theft). This means a huge opportunity for most software companies and a huge downer for the warez community.
It may also spell a sunshiney future for open source software, which Google smiles upon (its servers are powered by Linux). Recall that in its rapid rise to prominence, Google has amassed one of the largest networks of hardware on the planet. Leap forward a few years, when processing power and network bandwidth are essentially infinite, and you have the perfect pre-conditions for a completely virtualized operating system and application server environment.