Being the Platform

David Weiss, reacting to Chrome:

Today, it’s clear to me why I’ve felt this way: Google isn’t interested at all in “being a citizen” or part of a platform, they are interested in being the platform. If you look at the way Chrome is designed, it’s not so much designed to be a good browser, as much as it is a good operating system for web applications. Google’s desire is very much the same as Microsoft’s, except abstracted a little higher up the stack. They want to own the platform upon which web applications are built, just like Microsoft wants to own the platform upon which desktop applications are built.

Hence the “each tab is a separate process” architecture behind Chrome. The idea is that it makes every web app an independent citizen. It turns Chrome into a meta platform that sits atop a traditional “OS”. Chrome is to web apps what preemptive multitasking is to an operating system — a way to keep one wedged or crashed task from bringing down the whole environment.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008