Some of you know I'm a Mac user - maybe you could tell from the iMovie-generated title graphics in my videos - but I actually just finished building my first PC. I needed a new machine for my office and didn't want to pony up $1,300 for an iMac when a $500 Windows machine could do everything I needed it to and then some. I messed around with trying to get OSX running on my Intel-based box but finally gave up due to seemingly unended graphics and sound card issues. While I haven't yet tried editing a video using the new machine, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to care a whole lot that it's running Windows instead of OSX, though the more astute viewers amongst you might be able to tell which videos are edited on which machine going forward. We'll see.
Anyway, since Google just released a beta of their new Web browser, Chrome, and it's Windows-only, I figured I'd give it a whirl. I spent some time playing with it yesterday and it's nice. Honestly I didn't use it all day and didn't run any sort of organized "tests," but rather just used it to do some random Web surfing. One thing I really like is the new URL bar (it's got some fancy name I forget just now) that lets you enter a URL or enter search terms in one place. It also auto-completes your search terms with suggestions from your designated search engine. It's a minor change from the standard two bar system, but I like the streamlined approach of not having separate areas for URLs and search.
More important in the long run, and more relevant to the world of mobile phones, is Chrome's reported compatibility with Google Gears, which allows for offline use of certain Google Apps. Thus far, Google's Android mobile OS is said to contain not Chrome, but another Google Web browser built on WebKit technologies just like Chrome. Does Chrome's launch mean we'll be seeing Chrome on Android after all? Or will we see a similarly high level of Google Gears compatibility on Android's browser? Google co-founder Sergey Brin came out and said it yesterday at the Chrome launch: there might be a ?Chrome-like? offering for Android ?or something similar.?
Obviously Google's looking at integrating as many of their services as possible into Android, and that would have to include Google Gears and Google Apps. The more Google can get people to move away from Windows and Office and towards Android and Google Apps/Docs, the more they can wrest control of the computing industry away from Microsoft. What I'm really interested in is how they plan to monetize all of these services. Will we actually see low cost Android phones subsidized by Google Ads on every screen? Will we instead see the best mobile platform Google can develop, monetized via licensure fees to handset makers and cellular carriers? Perhaps a hybrid of the two?
Only time will tell, but I've got myself a meeting with folks from HTC, makers of the rumored Dream G1 Android-powered phone, next week at CTIA. So here's hoping time will start telling as early as a few days from now. I'll keep you posted.