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That Cloud Has a Chrome Lining

September 3, 2008 - 0 Comments

Boy, who knew a simple open source Webkit based browser would cause so much angst. Google’s release of the beta of Chrome today caused all kinds of havoc in the blogosphere. The first article I happened to read was written by Heather Haverstein of ComputerWorld, who declared it a Windows killer and like a number of folks referred to Chrome as Google’s OS. Hmmm…really?Well, actually, I think yeah, but I would not short MSFT just yet…. I think Chrome and similar browsers will be one more piece of the puzzle–eventually a significant piece. Chrome is about running tomorrow’s apps. Walt Mossberg bears out Google’s claims that Chrome is designed for next-gen web apps and web pages that will be dependent on more sophisticated JavaScript. Chrome already has some provocative design choices like the fact that each tab runs as a separate process so problems in one tab (i.e. web app) do not take the whole browser down. Individual tabs can also be launched directly from the Start menu or the desktop. So, marry Chrome with Google Gears and I think you have the makings of a pretty good application platform. At the same time, I think the whole desktop computing model is breaking down altogether. For example, VMware’s VDI moves the desktop off, well, the desktop and back into the data center (VT100, anyone?), which is starting to decouple users’ from their compute infrastructure. If organizations can do that while maintaining the user experience, the next step is to centralize those desktops wherever it makes the most sense.Even the iPhone and the ITunes AppStore gets into the act by showing that you don’t need a traditional PC form factor to run apps or to surf the web and have a reasonable user experience. Better 3G coverage, ubiquitous WiFi and WiMax will all feed this trend.Finally, you are continuing to see increasing back-end infrastructure virtualization and improving process automation. One upside of this is the creation of a framework to transparently move workloads around and have them run where it makes the most sense. None of this is going to happen next week. But let’s not get complacent. Anyone have the pleasure of using MS-DOS Executive–yeah, I still have nightmares too–but Windows95 was a short 10 years later.And yes, we have some interesting things to throw into this mix….but I can’t share just yet….

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