Google Blogoscoped

Forum

Rumor: A WebKit-based GBrowser?  (View post)

Jim McNelis [PersonRank 1]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
11 years ago5,486 views

I think it makes a lot of sense for Google to do this. This opens the possibility to deliver ads in the browser independent of the site being visited. It could be another ad platform for Google. Search, Content, and Browser. It could happen....

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

If they launch it with ads built-in right from the start, I wonder if it will be widely adopted?

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I'd be surprised to see adds directly in the browser. Opera tried that (with Google adds) and it wasn't a resounding success as far as usability went.

Far more likely is a very browser that's tightly integrated with Google online properties – use the browser to drive traffic to Google's online properties and search and make the money there.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Far more likely is a very browser that's tightly integrated with Google online properties

I agree

Rep [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

mbegin: Maybe they could win market share by giving the browser away for free.. and then support it with ads. ;-)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Browsers are already free anyway, so that doesn't really work :)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> And then, I heard another rumor that Google will be creating a standard
> which allows the toolbar of GBrowser to change when visiting certain
> sites – say, when you visit Google Docs you get a special Docs toolbar.

Now that would be cool – And it would be great if they offered an API so webmasters can create custom toolbars in the GBrowser for their websites & web apps! That could be very useful for Web 2.0 apps...

Brian [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

>And it would be great if they offered an API so webmasters can create
>custom toolbars in the GBrowser for their websites & web apps! That
>could be very useful for Web 2.0 apps.

How is that useful? You can create "custom" toolbars in your page right now. And unless this feature was also in non-Gbrowsers, you'd have to provide that functionality in a different ways for different browsers. That is hell.

Useful would be no toolbar at all. A browser should provide the minimum UI needed to access pages. The normal toolbar stuff can be done in a "browser configuration" page.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

That's a little cruddy, especially when Mozilla will soon release the best version of Firefox, like, ever. Let's face it, for END USERS, Firefox 1.5 and 2 were just layers of polish on Firefox 1.0. Firefox 3 is the first version that actually does new, useful things for the end user, even though it's not quite final yet.

It would be nice if Google could build their desktop browser on Mozilla's improved Gecko engine and keep Webkit on Android. But it's easier to maintain one codebase instead of two. Wonder why they can't just build more functionality into the Google Toolbar or Gears instead of launching their own GBrowser?

Still, if they're going to do this, I hope they use Webkit for a new desktop Google Talk client. That way, we don't have to miss new features as often.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Wonder why they can't just build more functionality into
> the Google Toolbar or Gears instead of launching their own GBrowser?

If there is a GBrowser indeed, then perhaps Google wants to make whatever toolbars they want to add native without any extra installations... that would give them a lot of power. Imagine, if they need feature X for Google Docs, they don't need to go through years of industry standardization and deployment processes, but – provided their browser is heavily deployed one day, and includes some kind of auto-update – simply integrate that feature into whatever open API they would deliver. (The API would need to be open to get developers on board, I suppose, so any feature they would want, they would also need to give to other web developers and other websites... but still, it would then be Google to decide which kind of features make sense for their "online office" suite. Like Google Gears, for instance.)

The Lizard wrote:

<<Betting any large percentage of your business on one single entity is never a good idea. Once that entity desires more money and threatens to go elsewhere, your business starts hurting substantially. Even more importantly, once another browser, which you control even less, appears and begins to threaten Firefox growth, it’s time to start thinking about why your business isn’t fully under your control in the first place.>>

Almost everything Google does happens inside a browser. Perhaps that is why Google considers this of strategic importance. On the other hand, if they ever also dominate the browser market – which would be an immense feat to pull off against Firefox and IExplorer! but let's just say – they got immense powers to influence the web in directions that are synchronized with their goals. This could actually get some worried in terms of too much power (monopoly style, though I am not a lawyer and I don't know if owning a browser would get them closer to a monopoly, in legal terms...).

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Meanwhile, web-kit based Safari 4 now passes ACID III.

Developer preview only though, but I'm really liking it.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This idea might make some sense, but I don't think people will switch from IE or Firefox to Google's browser just because is developed by Google. Integrating the browser with its services is another bad idea that would remove its credibility.

Actually, the article is based on a single idea: Google develops a browser because Mozilla could become greedy, but the author forgets that IE is the dominant browser and the default search engine in IE is not Google. People will continue to use Google even if all the browsers change the default search engine to Yahoo, MSN or Ask.

So if Google decides to launch a browser, it should be open source and it shouldn't include any integration with Google's services. This browser should have other underlying motivations than the revenue from search ads and Gears could be a step in this direction.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google would have to do a lot to get me to stop using Firefox. Admitedly I could see there could be benifits, such as Google having more control over their products (They could start launching features that would ONLY work in GBrowser).

<<Mozilla will soon release the best version of Firefox, like, ever>>
Shame it dosn't work on M$FT's best OS ever (Win98SE :-P)

mavrev Matt [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I'd like to see Google do a "Gbrowser" which was more like Prism. A way to bring Web 2.0 to the desktop as an application rather than a website and use that custom toolbar thing mentioned. That'd be cool.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> A way to bring Web 2.0 to the desktop as an application rather than a website

Yeah, this is along the lines of what I was thinking.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]mbegin and @mavrev MAtt
Adobe, Apple/Webkit, Mozilla, IBM, Sun and Microsoft are all working on the same basic idea: how to unite the client and the cloud. They've been working in different ways: Webkit, and Mozilla want open standard browsers working as a bridge underneath web applications bringing them seamlessly to the desktop. Microsoft, Adobe and Sun want to extend and/or replace the browser with network aware runtime engines. IBM has a finger in everyone's pie because they're huge.

[put at-character here]Philip
I still think they could implement much of that new functionality in Gears alone without creating a GBrowser.

[put at-character here]Mrrrix32
You mean Windows 2000 SP4, right? Sorry, but I need real USB support and stable wireless internet. Still, I won't enjoy explaining to my mum why she can't run the new Firefox unless I change her OS ;-)

David Mulder [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Didn't read through all the comments, but the only way they could deliver ads inside the browser would be some kind of related links button, which would open some kind of sidebar... still I don't really believe this rumor to be true...

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I would agree that Google has been in a strategy position to develop its own web browser, while there are many around. For its own proprietary applications, and for leading the development of Web browsers and HTML standards, Google has all incentives to do so.

It is OK that many users would stick to IE and Firefox, and Google applications still can run well. But with GBrowser, the G applications just run a bit faster and more reliable.

The "GBrowser toolbar" will make GBrowser act like a Apple desktop running on a web browser. The toolbar will become an important UI component and well as API of Web programming. There will might be a standard of toolbar evolving, led by Google.

Google does not need to make GBrowser to dominate the market. It just needs to have enough market share to lead the market and push the others.

All above is just speculation.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Maybe the GBrowser will fully integrate Gears so all Google Apps accessed via GBrowser are available both online and offline?

Jim McNelis [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I did not mean that they would employ ads immediately. I meant that it could be a platform to deliver ads in the future. Not to mention tighter Google Products integration will land users on more pages serving their ads.

What if Google said " we will block all our ads on page and instead show them along the bottom of your screen. Same ads as on page, just in the same place on every page. This is just one of my hair brained ideas.

My point is owning the users through the browser could have more benefits than are currently being used by the major browsers. I'm sure some haven't even been thought up, yet.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Well the GBrowser probably won't have an option to "disable ads" on websites like some browsers do!

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Count me on the side of the skeptics. In light of IE's continued dominance, Google's close relationship with Mozilla, and tangent this represents... I don't see it coming.

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mysterius
I have to agree with you. It simply doesn't make sense for Google to invest in FF only to see it as competition in the future.
I suspect that Google has a steak in FF, perhaps a contract that nobody is aware of, where maybe in a few years FF will be the Gbrowser.

Robert Cooper [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Im not sure I buy it too much either. Aside from the lingering abomination that is MSIE, there are good browsers for every platform. A Google browser would have to have a lot more to it to be compelling than just "integration with google stuff". Maybe they have the best thing since sliced bread there, but something tells me such a move would burn a lot of political capital, and my suspicion is that such a product would end up looking a lot like the old "MSN Explorer" which nobody used.

The thing about the toolbar thing is... well, almost interesting. I mean, really why couldn't you just add said functionality to the Google toolbar itself? It also seems out of character. Looking at the recent un-branding of Gears, Google seems to be moving --rightly so-- to lessen their brand footprint to encourage adoption outside of there direct sphere of influence. Making a move in the browser space would be a move in the opposite direction. It seems much more likely, and perhaps a better move, for Google to simply accelerate Gears development and continue to drive their brand based on web-based assets.

Now, a move I might fully expect, rather than a "Web Browser", is an "Application Browser" – something akin to Prism or Air that will let them package Docs/Mail/Calendar/Reader in a way that looks more like desktop applications. That would give them all the freedom they would want to improve their main line brands, but would incur almost non of the bad blood a full-fledged "Web Browser" would.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

Forum home

Advertisement

 
Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About
Advertisement

 

This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!