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if (gBrowser) { var google = new Platform(); }

Filed in: Web, Mon, Sep 20 2004 23:39 PT

Blogger. Gmail. Orkut. Google’s stock price. What do all of these things have in common?

They could all benefit by having icons on the desktop. If Google is developing a browser, as has been suggested, this is why. It’s a vehicle for a client UI for their email system, which could be offloaded substantially if they could trust the client to work properly; for an integrated blogging tool (if not a news aggregator); and maybe a way to integrate social networking.

I can think of another tool that needs a UI: hard drive search. Microsoft is trying to sell fast local search technology. Google would love to crash that party. But they need the client. JavaScript, for its debug-centric development, sandboxing, and insecurity, is not at all the way to go, as I’ve mentioned before. If they go for a UI language like XUL, with JavaScript targeted for a single platform, on the other hand, they might just have something. (This was the potential that caused Apple to create Safari, despite the fact that they went for KHTML instead of Mozilla’s Gecko engine.)

It’s no surprise that Mozilla is getting attention from major companies. IBM, Novell, and Sun, among others, are pouring resources into the Mozilla Foundation, because the return on investment is absurd. Google, now a public company with a $32 billion market cap, can afford to have a dog in this race. They’d be silly not to, given their track record for skunkworks projects (Froogle, Orkut, Gmail, Web services) that materialize quickly with few resources, and their user base. If they’re doing it, it’s a good move. If they’re not, I wouldn’t be surprised if the tail doesn’t wag the dog here.

2 responses to “if (gBrowser) { var google = new Platform(); }”

  1. Gave me a context-muddle with your post title, since I was just coming out of Firefox’s browser.js, the main Javascript file that runs the browser, where I was using the global for the browser object, gBrowser.

  2. Tinus says:

    There will probably never be a gbrowser:

    Gbrowser won’t see the light?

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