Google Chrome sets sights on Safar… Windows?!?

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While there has been much speculation about webkit powered Chrome and the possible implications for Apple’s Safari browser, we think the shot Google fired last week was across a different bow altogether.

Follow us after the jump where we discuss how Chrome has it’s sights set on Windows and why Apple couldn’t care less if there’s ever a Safari  v4.0.

What Chrome Is
Chrome is an operating system for cloud computing. It bears as much resemblance to current generation browsers as the Phoenix BIOS does MS Windows.  This is stated clear as day in Google’s User Experience Documentation:

In the long term, we think of [Chrome] as a tabbed window manager or shell for the web rather than a browser application.“

Even the comic used to explain Chrome to others pretty clearly states that the process manager used in Chrome is patterned after an operating system rather than traditional browsers.

What Does that Mean?
Google believes that the average person doesn’t need a computer, at least not anything even remotely close to the veritable super-computers most of us are toting around.  They are for the most part, correct. This is one reason why we’ve been touting the need for the Apple tablet for some time now.

See most folks, surf, shop, listen to music, and maybe, just maybe edit a few documents and exchange emails.   The only time a modern computer comes anywhere close to fully utilized is playing video games.

The cloud computing philosophy states that instead of computers, folks really need stylish consumer electronics that have the ability to connect to a larger computing cloud to perform computational tasks, when needed.

Sound familiar?

You didn’t think iPhone was really a phone did you?

Why Apple Isn’t Worried about Safari or Anything else for that Matter
Apple isn’t worried about Safari because Google has done gone and promised to continue development of a webkit-based browser for free. If you were Steve: some other company decides to use your technology to build a browser for your platform and release all their improvements back to you? Letting that happen would be what we consultants call a “Good Business Decision“.

Now the erosive force that Chrome will ultimately have on the Windows market will surely effect OS X, yet I argue Apple isn’t worried. Why? Three reasons:

  1. OS X is already one of the best OS’s on which to power a “Cloud”. It’s grid computing capability is way ahead of most other OS’s. OS X will continue, I promise.
  2. Most Mac Users either work in a creative business, or have hobbies that are highly creative.  My Mac Pro doesn’t get stressed playing games, it does however get a pretty full workout decoding HD Video, and editing photographs.  These functions are hard to replicate in a cloud computing environment, and won’t be for decades.
  3. Uh”¦ “Stylish Consumer Electronics”“¦ who do we know that makes those? Apple’s chief source of revenue is HARDWARE sales. It matters not two figs to them if that hardware is an iTablet, or a Macbook Pro.

In a cloud computing world, which it will be in a less than a decade, I see a marriage between the world’s premier cloud provider (Google), and it’s foremost consumer electronics company.

Of course a formal alliance to that end would be premature to announce today, but in the near future look for something subtle, like the CEO of one being on the Board of the other.

Oh Wait!

  • imajoebob

    “Most Mac Users either work in a creative business, or have hobbies that are highly creative?” I think that’s a tired paradigm that basic inference from sales data tells us ca no longer be true. Never the less, Apple is smart enough to recognize a new paradigm: the Porsche Cayenne buyer.

    The Mac is the computer equivalent of the Cayenne. It’s a rip-snorting monster dressed in a dinner jacket. You could take it to the drag strip and leave a gear head and his GTO sucking your exhaust. You can take it to Watkins Glen and watch BMWs spin out in your rear view mirror. You could take it to the boulevard and leave with a few rice-burner pink slips. Or. like most owners, you can use it to take the kids to soccer and carry groceries home from Whole Foods. The “bad-ass soccer mom” is a big chunk of the new Apple buyers too.

    They don’t work in media. They don’t make digital videos. They don’t even Photoshop the messy kitchen table out of the Christmas card photo. They buy Macs because they buy whatever they think is best, whether they need it or not. We all have a friend who has a Cuisinart that’s never made anything but magaritas.

    This actually supports your main thesis. Apple isn’t worried, because these people will still buy Macs to work in the “Cloud,” even if an ancient P/S2 would do as good a job. And since Apple already has a computing engine to exploit the Cloud, they’ll attract more (pseudo-) power users, which will attract more Cayenne drivers.

    Steve J. says don’t worry. Steve B. says. “What, me worry?”

  • handsomematt

    This isn’t the first article I’ve come across touting Chrome as a threat to Windows. However, I also came across the following article on The Register. The person who wrote it seems to be somewhat angry with all the analysts proclaiming exactly what you are. I’m sort of playing devil’s advocate here; I would like to know what the real score is. Are we being fed these lines about Chrome being an operating system because we live in an age of unbelievable hype, or are the analysts views (which would include yours) based on cold hard fact? And what would you say to the guy who wrote the article in The Register? Some clarification would be handy, since we’ve got experts sitting in completely opposing camps. Any help?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2

  • leigh

    @Handsomemat: Thanks for the comment. I absolutely will address your questions and the register article. I am traveling without good net access, look for a reply this weekend.

    Thanks

  • handsomematt

    Thanks, Leigh! It’ll be nice to get a clearer picture on all this. I just find that all these conflicting opinions muddy the water a little (the ire in the Register article not helping) and I’m not sure who to believe. I look forward to your article.

  • movie fan

    it’s funny, the more i use Chrome (for windows), the more unstable it seems to get… crashes a lot more, can’t handle sites with flash, hangs every time i close a tab… all that to say, i’m switching back to Firefox

  • Designerhandbagsoutlet

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  • Chiflatironss

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About the author

Leigh McMullen

Leigh McMullen leads the Advisory Services & Strategy practices for the professional services arm of one of the Big-Five firms. He has written several books that would cure any insomnia you might have, and is an avid Mac junkie.

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