By Aldo Panessidi
The recent “cloud” technology is a buzz word that readers have grown to both love and hate. What does it mean? How does it work? Well with data centers and internet: iCloud and Google are the poster children for bringing the wonders of the ‘cloud’ to millions of people with their smartphones, tablets, iPods and all the technology that brings it together. Google’s project to connect these all to the web is called Chromium OS which targets the desktop. Mozilla is taking another approach with Boot to Gecko (B2G) that will go after mobile devices with a standalone OS on the open web on mobile devices (a major announcement regarding this is expected to be made at MWC).
So, Google’s move to take its Chrome browser to the Android mobile platform doesn’t come as much of a surprise. While this reassures us that Android is not going anywhere as a mobile OS platform, we could soon see the end of native operating systems and the beginning of web operating systems. For, as Google’s Engineering Manager, Arnaud Weber says, “You should have your Chrome experience wherever you are.”
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What’s the benefit in this change though? The idea is that the open web can replace proprietary, single-vendor stacks like iOS, Android, Windows and all the familiar names when it comes to app development. At the moment, there are hurdles for web developers to build apps for the open web that are equal to native apps, but that too will change and will likely extend to our mobile accessories and peripheral devices.
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The immediate future hints to Chrome replacing the Android Browser in the coming months and potentially there will be devices that boot to the web at the MWC. But, with the tight control of wireless carriers that fear change and services they cannot charge for (battle royale of roaming and unlocked phones anyone?), the transition of this technology to mobile devices may take a bit longer to reach consumers.