By David Worthington | Monday, August 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm
Today, Google fired a new salvo in the browser wars, announcing an upcoming synchronization service for its Chrome browser. A preliminary mockup of the service will be released to developers later this week, with general availability possible later this month, according to reports.
The service will first deliver bookmark synchronization –something that’s already possible with Firefox via plug-ins as well as Opera. Google will add other types of browser data incrementally. If Google carries out its plans effectively, Chrome will provide users with a seamless user experience across many devices. Other browser makers will have to follow.
Netbooks, which have the focus of Google’s most ambitious development efforts, will be an obvious beneficiary. The synchronization service will also give a boost to OpenID, which Google users to authenticate digital identities (with its own proprietary twist).
All in all, Google is continuing to blur the line between desktop software and the cloud. It is not alone in its thinking–I’m convinced that Microsoft, which is often perceived as its biggest competitor, will eventually follow suit.
Last year, I detailed Microsoft’s Midori operating system development plans. While Google has not announced anything as ambitious as Midori, it is going down the path that Microsoft laid out in the memos that I reviewed.
One of Microsoft’s principal design motivations is to support the ability of users to share resources remotely, and for applications that are a composite of local and remote components and services. The Web browser is just beginning to enable the application side of that vision.