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Google browser browses the world

Jason Kottke in September guessed that Google is building its own browser. Slashdot got all slashdotty on that idea’s ass. The supporting evidence: Google has registered gbrowser.com, they may be hiring people from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, and there are reasons to think it makes sense for Google to do so…at least in terms of Google’s ambitiousness.

I’m not good at this type of prognostication. (So, what type of prognostication am I good at? I accurately predicted that John Travolta would be a huge star back when he was a Sweathog. That concludes my list.) But, yesterday’s purchase of Keyhole — yet another Windows-only service, as Dan Gillmor points out — got me to thinking. If Google is building a browser, what might it be like?

It would not be a Web browser. It’d be a world browser. It would find pages on the Web, of course, but it’d also find the ones on my desktop (Google desktop). It would know about my email (Gmail). It would know that my own photos are categorically different from all the other jpgs on the planet (Picasa). It would let me browse the physical earth (Keyhole) and show on a map the documents that talk about any particular place (Keyhole + Google Local).

And it wouldn’t be just a browser. It would let me work with the information I’ve found: Manage my photos (Picasa), manage my desktop files, translate documents (Google Languages), shop…

If that’s what Google’s aiming at, they need a file manager (no big deal) and would probably want to have a e-wallet and maybe a digital ID offering (Whoogle? — currently owned by AK PRadeep in Berkeley).

The result would replace current browsers but wouldn’t look much like them. You’d do so much of your daily work in it it that it would feel more like a desktop…

…which is where it gets really interesting.

Click here for a disclosure statement.

17 Responses to “Google browser browses the world”

  1. The browser becomes my world.

    David Weinberger proposes how Google might build a browser – a world browser he calls it. To quote David: It would not be a Web browser. It’d be a world browser. It would find pages on the Web, of course,…

  2. Maybe Google is building WinFS for Microsoft ;)

    – Adwait

  3. GoogleWorld: Google to Own Your Desktop. Short Microsoft.

    With the huge momentum and capital built up by Google in the past year, it’s only natural to wonder what’s next. Many say, with the advent of Google Desktop Search (We note in passing that Google has no time for the Macs of the World), the Google Brow…

  4. hmmm… Maybe Google is taking over the world. In fact I think I saw google going through my closet and kitchen pantry (indexing of course). That Google!

  5. GoogleWorld: Google to Own Your Desktop. Short Microsoft.

    With the huge momentum and capital built up by Google in the past year, it’s only natural to wonder what’s next. Many say, with the advent of Google Desktop Search (We note in passing that Google has no time for the Macs of the World), the Google Brow…

  6. Joho Sez: Could Be a World Browser

    Interesting speculation from David Weinberger on what Keyhole might mean if mixmashed with the Google Browser rumors. It would not be a Web browser. It’d be a world browser. It would find pages on the Web, of course, but it’d also find the ones on my d…

  7. Google’s buys geographic visualization

    Interesting thoughts from David Weinberger on Google’s purchase of Keyhole .

  8. All Google-Watchers Now

    When I first started my blog, certain people weren’t afraid to point out to me that I seemed obsessed with…

  9. During the SmartTags controversy some two to three years ago, Microsoft tried to defuse privacy concerns by hyping the promise of .Net and Web services. Public relations is one thing; delivery another. Google’s dominance of search stems from its peculiar, applied command of focus. Any future dominance of the way we interact on the Web from the desktop will derive from an application of the extraordinary breadth of that focus (look at advertising; they’ve globalized, localized and distributed it). And I’ll not begrudge them dominance. They’ve delivered. Whereas good old MS started out foisting product onto us (creating demand), Google’s embraced the Web and, giving substance to your title Small Piece Loosely Joined, slowly and assiduously built its repertoire across the Web by trying and testing tools we want to use (meeting demand). Unlike MS, Google has listened to users. I get the feeling Google’s not ‘on’ the Web; it’s ‘of’, ‘in’ and ‘about’ it. MSFT and GOOG are different types of company, of course, but they need each other. At the front end, Google stands to deliver on Microsoft’s past promises.

  10. hi, i linked to this from my relevant developments section on my website. I am amazed by the vision that this demonstrates. I hope this comes true.

  11. Don’t forget about Blogger.com and Audioblogger.com!

  12. Joho Sez: Could Be a World Browser

    Interesting speculation from David Weinberger on what Keyhole might mean if mixmashed with the Google Browser rumors. It would not be a Web browser. It’d be a world browser. It would find pages on the Web, of course, but it’d also find the ones on my d…

  13. Internet Explorer (and Firefox, to a lesser extent) already:
    “find pages on the Web”: via google toolbar/sites.
    “find the ones on my desktop”: via Google desktop!
    “know about my email (Gmail)”: via GMail, Oddpost, Yahoo.
    … etc.
    In other words, there is no need for a google browser if google can write code that makes current browsers do all these things. These days, there really isn’t anything to be gained by having your own customized browser vs. running your stuff on other browsers (you lose because people are more likely to install a plugin than to switch their browsers).

    You said:
    > The result would replace current browsers but
    > wouldn’t look much like them. You’d do so much
    > of your daily work in it it that it would feel
    > more like a desktop…
    The real innovation would be to develop a suite of applications that make all these things possible using standard browsers. Even Google cannot replace the world wide web!

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