Chrome, Cloud & Convergence

Posted on September 5, 2008 by Tony Uphoff

My recent post on Google's launch of Chrome generated a lot of discussion. My "unofficial editor" David Berlind (as a journalist I make a great media exec!) rightfully noted my referring to Chrome's features; speed, multitasking and advanced security, as open source features was misleading. These desktop operating system and application like features represent the next level of innovation for web browsers. Chrome will now be part of the open source community however and this will allow for the sort of adoption and adaption that we've seen with open source operating systems like Linux. Heck, they knew what I meant!

If you haven't yet checked Chrome out you can download the in depth analysis InformationWeek produced this week. Download the Report Here. (registration is required). It's fair to say that Google has work left to do. This is a beta version of software that has bugs, flaws and is lacking some features. Google also made a strategic blunder with their original terms of service agreement, since amended. The fact remains however that the launch of Chrome is a game changer and as has been widely noted represents a significant challenge to Microsoft's operating system business. Chrome will also accelerate the shift of the desktop as we know it into the Cloud.

As Chris Carson commented, Google would be well served to continue to push functionality into the cloud with Chrome rather than emulate the hard drive centricity of traditional desktop apps. My belief is that users will want the ability to use email on and offline for the near term and Chrome will provide this functionality. In an increasingly "always on" world however this will become a moot point. My regular American Airlines flights between LAX and JFK are now offering internet access as my colleague Fritz Nelson demonstrated. It's only a matter of time until this is the norm.

Thanks to Steve Gehlen and his crew for inviting me to speak at the Inverge Conference held this week in Portland Oregon. Great content, great discussions. Was particularly impressed with Weiden & Kennedy Digital Strategies Director Renny Gleeson's presentation. He has a good take on brand issues in this era of media convergence.

One snapshot observation from the conference however. We're still seeing way too many companies designate an individual as "digital strategist" or "social networking" director. Folks the web can no longer be described as emerging media. It has emerged. You are now officially living in a digital world. If everyone in your company isn't actively involved in digital strategy or if only one person understands social networks, you're in trouble.,

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