Archive for the ‘Chrome’ tag
With the recent release of Google’s Chrome web browser, some people have wondered why in the world would Google do something like this. Why would they throw another fox in the already filled hen house (pun completely intended)? This got me thinking too. Strap on your tin foil hats everyone.
The Eternal Beta
Google certainly is a company known for allowing its employees time to develop their own projects. Small programs have been released that got no real push from the upper levels and have developed based only on its merits.
Chrome was a bit different.
Something as epic as a comic drawn by Scott McCloud wouldn’t be commissioned for some small developer idea that Google is ‘just throwing out there in beta’. This leads me to believe that Chrome is a company-wide priority and something that stands to shape how other Google technologies develop over time.
Create Application Shortcut
Now this is a small feature hidden in the settings section but I believe has huge implications for what Google is planning. Adding a webpage or service as an application shortcut isn’t just an old html shortcut that launches the browser, it changes the way the browser is displayed. In actual fact, the browser almost disappears, leaving the service as the only focal point.
Now I can take things like Gmail and Google Calendar and make them applications, not just web pages. Suddenly I have a single cross-platform program that I can access from anywhere. That is powerful.
Not only that, with Google redesigning the way the browser ‘works’, advanced and ‘desktop-like’ features can be added to enhance things like Gmail even more.
With more advanced features tied into a browser specific platform, this suggests to me a paid premium service may be on the horizon.
Google Needs More Money?
Consider this, Google not only has a range of ‘Office’ like programs, ownership of GrandCentral but they also have a new phone platform launching. Premium Business Google Apps anyone?
GrandCentral Is The Killer App
From their website:
“GrandCentral doesn’t replace your phones; we just link them together and help them do more. How do we do that? We give people ‘One Number…for Life’ – a number that’s not tied to a phone or a location – but tied to you.
With GrandCentral, you can be reached with a single number, answer a call at any phone you want, seamlessly switch phones in the middle of a call, and even know whether a call is important before you take it.”
Now tie this into your phone and into your company’s computer system as well. It’s fully accessible from any machine and mobile phones, hosted all on Google’s backed up servers. You’ll have a pretty good virtual office setup right there.
Combine all this with Google buying up a heap of wireless broadband, and soon we may have a GOffice.
Now if Chrome/Android and GTalk is the key, then Google can charge for access.
Open But Not Open
They are opening up the browser to open source, but not fully. The only reason I could see for this is either some new IP or a commerce component that requires strict security. Since they are rewriting the whole browser, the hooks and chains required for such a locked down component can be deeply integrated in the code.
Possible Business Models
Premium Google Apps – Fully integrated business environment, online hosting, phone access, GrandCentral integration.
Premium Gmail – Different levels of spam filtering increased storage.
Premium YouTube Anyone?
Ever since Google bought YouTube, the question is how are they ever going to be able to make money. Combine a commerce component with one of the most recognizable video brands on the planet and you have a massive paid content delivery system. Did anyone really blink an eye when Google started encoding all the videos in H.264? Online rentals, IPTV subscriptions and portable video.
If anyone could seriously challenge iTunes for the crown, it could only be Google. Combine this with Android and you have the display platform along with the copy protection the studios will surely require.
Again, Chrome/Android will be the key. Imagine going anywhere in the world and having access to your media.
Picasa Isn’t Just For Fishing
New built in technologies into the browser could greatly enhance Picasa’s ability as not only a photo manger but a photo editor as well. Adobe is using Air with Photoshop, why not Google with Chrome?
While these types of developments excite me, I still want a few questions answered:
- How will the new developments affect my ability to use the Google Apps on non-Chrome browsers?
- Will services such as Gmail start becoming paid?
- Will services such as Gmail miss out on any technology upgrades unless you are a paid subscriber?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Chrome. I have it on all my Windows machines (XP and Vista) and will do it for my Macs when it comes out. I just think it’s interesting that all the acquisitions Google has made over the years can be stitched together into a master plan.
Am I wrong, crazy or just plain daft? Have at it…