I’ve received a lot of good feedback for my initial post about Chrome comparing its “Microsoft Killer” hype to the GTalk (now mostly defunct) launch a few years ago.

However, I’ve also heard from several folks who disagree (like Asaf for example).
The main point of the Chrome supporters is that advanced AJAX execution capabilities, coupled with Google Gears offlining capabilities and bundled in a browser provides a platform for next-gen web cloud applications that can seamlessly work online and offline.

The thing is, that no matter how much you optimize your browser’s rendering and JavaScript capabilities, underneath it all our entire web technology still based on old (even ancient in Internet terms) standards set almost a decade ago by W3C – a now defunct organization that is failing to keep up with the rate of technological changes.
Can you really believe that the future is in technology standards set by W3C and updated once, maybe twice a decade?!

It’s W3C’s inability to keep up that is driving companies to develop their own proprietary standards to lead today’s technological trends – Adobe with Flex and Air and Microsoft with Silverlight.

And maybe we’re going towards a browser-less future were we have AIR\Silverlight cloud enabled applications running on our OS?

The point is, taking Apple’s rendering code (apparently, not even the latest build) and putting it inside a featureless window while adding some optimized JavaScript VM is far from being innovative and light years away from the revolutionary expectations that we could hear about before and during the Chrome launch. Adding a few more horses to pull your carriage around doesn’t turn it into a car…

But hey, we’ve had the same story with a boring featureless (sorry, plain and simple) chat program a few years ago ;)

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5 Comments to “On Google’s Chrome and The Future of Cloud Computing”

  1. JD | September 5th, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Bravo!

    Being a web developer, this post makes MUCH more sense in convincing me that Google Chrome can’t really kill Windows, at least not in near future.

    And you are spot on about W3C comment. If we look at history, Ajax was originally ‘invented’ by Microsoft by introducing XMLHttp Active X Object. It slowly became popular and other browsers started supporting it. Google made the technology mainstream by creating Google Maps and Adaptive Path gave it a catchy name, ‘Ajax’. W3C came in way too late by documenting this ‘standard’ which everyone was already following.

    I am still not sure what is the right answer. Having looked at Flex/Silverlight, I must say that I am not that impressed. Not because they don’t have potential, but the technology is still in its infancy and it shows. And I want to get my work done, RIGHT NOW. Let’s see what the future holds.

  2. ekampf | September 6th, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks JD :)

    I have to disagree with your opinion on Silverlight as I think it has some amazing advantages:

    1. Its code gets compiled and interpreted like .NET code on the client. Thats 20x faster than JS
    2. Compiled code, unlike script, means you get compile time errors, you can do unit testing
    3. It requires the same skillset a .NET developers would already have developing ASP.NET or Windows applications – easy migration

    Plus they put a lot into videos and design time etc. so I see a lot of promise in that technology…
    Now they have to start selling it to dev teams :)

    Regards,
    Eran

  3. JD | September 7th, 2008 at 12:11 am

    As I said, I am not denying that Silverlight has potential [for the exact reasons you outline] but technology is far from mature. Issues I have:

    1. Adoption of the plugin. Currently, one can think of using Flash to make RIA which could be used by most of the people around the world. This is one serious limitation.

    2. Yes, your .NET Framework knowledge helps but if you don’t know WPF, good luck using your ASP.NET knowledge to create Silverlight application. May be I have not spent enough time learning WPF. May be it is because there are still not enough good resources to learn/master WPF. Also, WPF hasn’t really made inroads in corporate world which gives you the opportunity to work with the technology.

    3. Lack of components. Until Beta 2, Silverlight did not have a grid component! Because technology is relatively new, you don’t have myriad of components, so you spend time writing those basic components in fact of solving the business problem. I am sure as time goes on, situation will improve.

    Even though I think Silverlight is a fantastic platform, adoption by geeks is relative low for MS developers and almost zero for non MS developers [which is understandable knowing that Micro$oft sucks! ;)] Let’s see how Microsoft plans to improve the adoption.

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