As Goes Chrome OS, So Goes Google's Chrome Browser
If you happen to think, as I do, that Google Chrome is emerging as the very best browser available, it's worth noting a point that we've made many times on OStatic: Chrome's evolution will have everything to do with the ongoing development of Google's upcoming Chrome OS. Chrome OS, Google's first operating system aimed squarely at computing desktops, is an ambitious project for Google, and, from the outset, it's been clear that because the Chrome browser interface--and much of its plumbing--form the UI and guts of Chrome OS, the fate of the operating system and its sibling browser are inextricably tied. As glimpses of version 8 of the Chrome browser appear, this seems more true than ever.
As noted on Conceivably Tech:
"We were a bit surprised to see Chromium 7 (Chrome 7 nightly build) to be switched to Chromium 8 (Chrome 8 nightly build) early this morning, as we were just told that the switch was scheduled for next week. The launch of Chromium 8 closes the feature set for Chrome 7 and opens a wave of cloud features that is quite obviously planned for Chrome 8 [the next release of the Chrome browser]."
Chromium is, of course, the open source core of Google's ambitious Chrome OS operating system. It's no surprise that it is quickly tacking on features aimed at cloud computing. From the outset, Google has made clear that the OS will cater not just primarily, but exclusively to cloud-based applications, data and computing. As the Chrome browser is developed in tandem with the OS, it too, is likely to take on cloud-based intelligence.
The real trend to watch, though, is how the developers dedicated to the operating system, and the money spent on development, have a trickle-down positive impact on the Chrome browser. It is unlikely that Mozilla will be able to match this level of development and money spent as it revises the Firefox browser over time.
It's also worth remembering that Mozilla receives the bulk of its annual revenues from Google, in exchange for search placement, and that deal is up for review next year. Will Google continue to fund an open source browser that it can ostensibly beat with its own, or will it stay ecumenical? As Chrome OS arrives, we'll get much more of a sense of how all of this will play out.