Monday, September 01, 2008

2008-09-01 Monday - Google Web Browser ("Chrome")

Google plans to launch web browser

My initial reaction to this news: "ho-hum". Yet another fraying thread in Google's increasing lack of focus. Or put another way, yet another desperate attempt by Google to create the appearance of productive activity that masks the dismal failure of so many other Google initiatives to generate anything but the most meager of revenue streams - relative to their primary advertising revenue golden goose.

In the near-term, this will probably garner a host of pundits writing laudatory columns that paint Google as the David fighting the Goliath of Microsoft. There may even be a near-term bump in Google's market cap - as analyst pile on top of each other to be the first to declare the magnificient demonstration of Google's technical prowess with this new browser.

But I ask you, "where's the beef?"

I can hear the sizzle coming from the kitchen - but really, what's it all about?

What is the value proposition that is going to cause a user of the internet to download and install a 1st generation product that may not yet be fully debugged?

What is the value to Google's bottom line - when by some analyst accounts - they already own 70% of search?

I suspect that for Google to improve the quality of search results much more for the typical user - they must move the game to a completely new level in terms of tracking and monitoring user activities.

That is what I suspect is the true nature behind Google's "Chrome" initiative.

That may not sit so well with users who are already fearful of the power that Google has amassed in its huge databases of a user's interests and net surfing behavior.

Google's Omnibox could be Pandora's box
"The auto-suggest feature of Google's new Chrome browser does more than just help users get where they are going. It will also give Google a wealth of information on what people are doing on the Internet besides searching.

Provided that users leave Chrome's auto-suggest feature on and have Google as their default search provider, Google will have access to any keystrokes that are typed into the browser's Omnibox, even before a user hits enter.

What's more, Google has every intention of retaining some of that data even after it provides the promised suggestions. A Google representative told CNET News that the company plans to store about 2 percent of that data--and plans to store it along with the Internet Protocol address of the computer that typed it.

In theory, that means that if one were to type the address of a site--even if they decide not to hit enter--they could leave incriminating evidence on Google's servers."

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