What Netscape's Founder Thinks About the New Google Browser

26 thoughts on “What Netscape's Founder Thinks About the New Google Browser”

  1. Quote:

    “PS: I tried to take notes as fast as I could, but since Marc speaks too fast I apologize if some of the quotes might be wee bit mangled.

    Honestly Om, it may sound impolite, but I do not see anything substantial in this piece and I was disappointed. What is Marc’s take, what does he want to convey, what is the future road map, where does he sees all these fitting into the seemingly jigshaw puzzle of browsers?

    The other day at Zoho blogs, with comparatively substantial arguments, Flash/Silvelight death was predicted. Chrome does provide Flash plugins! I think they will not hesitate to provide Silverlight plugin as well! – what Google has got to loose in this, nothing! (Only constraint being it will push MS technologies)

    Chrome is decent and it is lauched with much secrecy. I mean google just launched it and it was not very much known earlier! After spending some time, the only thing of value to me or any developer is a better JS VM Engine. Rest like omnibar (I do not like it), incognito window, search, import of stuffs from mozilla/IE, most visited sites et al – do not show any tangible change. They have been done by others already.

    Well, the browser is good, but I really do believe it is too much hyped. Google with its cash load, PhDs/MS on board, standard of recruitment etc – it really wanna show something, then I guess, has to show something like search, which though not original was an amazingly great user experience. Gmail, Docs, Blogs, Scholar, Books etc and now browser are fine, but where is the real breakthrough??? Even AJAX has a great appeal for an end user and the developer!

    I guess we see the same old phenomena getting repeated. MS with Windows and Office, Google with its Search, IBM with its Mainframe. They bring a breakthrough/very good user experience combined with productivity and after that only knows how to stay afloat/dominant. Only exception being Apple – which has amazingly done well a real innovative company.

  2. I don’t think the (long overdue) faster processing of JavaScript is anywhere near enough to make developers shy away from Flash or Silverlight. Flash and Silverlight bring true desktop functionality to RIAs right now, JavaScript (and HTML/CSS) are still trying to catch up on desktop software from many years ago.

  3. Though I wouldn’t push Adobe Flash too down, it has more capabilities than JavaScript on it’s own. Video, Audio, wonderful effects, transitions, animation, and just simply looks much much nicer (on any browser!). Sure Chrome will be a boost for JavaScript, but I feel Adobe will have the lead in 2009.

  4. “If JavaScript gets any faster, then developers will question if they should develop in Flash…”

    Well, we should always be questioning, testing the best way to achieve a project’s goal…. 😉

    But it’s not enough for a faster JavaScript implementation to appear on your desktop. It really needs to appear on your audience’s desktops. Microsoft HTML runtimes dominate webpage viewing, and IE7 only recently overtook IE6. Nobody has shown the capability to crack Microsoft’s crushing marketshare in Ajax runtimes.

    If you’ve got a computationally intensive task to perform on your audience’s desktops, then Adobe Flash Player fits in, regardless of each audience member’s choice in operating system, browser brand, or browser version. Player innovations become supported on 80-90% of the world’s computers within a half-year.

    It’s hard to get people to switch their browser, even to update their browser… it’s a big environment, the UI and habits change. Fortunately there’s a way — cross-browser plugins — to have innovation fit into their existing environments.

    Over 95% of the world’s browsers already have a scripting JIT today. Innovation can come a little faster, when it fits in to what people are already doing.

    jd/adobe

  5. Good article, although I don’t agree with Andreessen that Chrome is a world-changer. Basically Google is trying to protect their investment in Javascript. How many people right now are dissatisfied with their JS performance? About 1%. And if more web apps start to use more JS, as is likely, IE and FF will respond. Chrome has a role, but it is not revolutionary.

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  7. “Any desktop application that has not been implemented in the browser is now going to be implemented in the browser,”

    Seems to me that iTunes has snuck under the radar. It’s built upon WebKit just like Chrome, and yet 99.9% of the people who use it think it’s a desktop app, cause it works just like one.

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  9. Flash is the weakest link in the chain. It is too slow, too bloated. Javascript is just now on the verge of providing the functionality to do away with it forever. Learn more at ajaxian.com

  10. marc is smart but back in the day i suggested to him that netscape focus on being a ‘communications’ company not a software company. ironically, it was called ‘netscape communications corp.’ instead, netscape focused on software licensing and software business models, actually charging for its browser… which let everyone else (ebay, yahoo, google, amazon, etc.) end up owning the web services.

    anyone recall when yahoo (and other search/directories) had to pay netscape $4million a year to be bundled on netscape.com?

    unfortunately, execs from fedex and fortune 500 ruined netscape because they didn’t understand the web opportunity clearly

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