Chrome and the Notion of Growing the Web

June 18, 2009

“We Want Chrome to Grow the Web” is the title of an interesting essay by Matt Asay. The “we” is Google. No surprise there. The article points out that Google has been “a good partner” for Mozilla. In my mind, the thought that surfaced was, “Yes, but not good enough to keep us from rolling out a competitive product.”

Mr. Asay wrote:

Google doesn’t expect to be the source of all browser innovation. It wants to continue working with Firefox, for example, helping prod the market forward. As Mozilla CEO John Lilly has said, increased competition in the browser market can spark innovation. Competition isn’t comfortable, but because it pushes vendors to do their best work and “often results in innovation of one sort or another,” it’s ultimately good for customers and competitors. This is why we should be cheering Google’s entry into the browser market–even if we ultimately want Firefox to win. Perhaps especially if we want Firefox to win.

I think I agree with Mr. Asay with regard to competition. My concern is that I am not sure that Google likes the idea quite as much. Google dominates Web search and is well on the way to having a big paw on some other juicy business sectors; for example, video.

With regard to Chrome, I think it is a component, not a browser. I think the word “browser” understates with the Chrome component of the Google platform can support, enable, and do. Browsing is a subset of a larger set of capabilities.

Stephen Arnold, June 18, 2009


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