OK, so now AOL is getting back into the browser wars, says eWeek. And the speculation about Google entering the game is overwhelming. Well, Doerr said at Web 2.0 it ain’t gonna happen, and I don’t think it will. At least, not in the way the traditional narrative might have it. I’ve concluded that the point is not the browser, it’s the platform, and Google already has one to build on. It’s the web (and IE, in fact).
SEW blog points to Google’s strategy: building on top of the browser.
From an Indian web site pointed to by SEW:
Internet search service company Google today said that it was engaged in developing technology that was aimed at bringing about improvements in web browsers.
”There has been much speculation. But our work is focussed on improving the browsing experience,” Google co-Founder and President (Technology) Sergey Brin told reporters here.
The world’s most popular search services outfit touched off a flurry of speculation that it was planning to introduce a web browser after it registered the domain name gbrowser.com in April.
”Today’s browsers are doing a pretty good job, but they can be improved. What we are looking to do is to enhance the quality of the browsing experience,” he said.
What does that mean? It means that the browser is a commodity. Note while the journalist said “improving the browser”, what Sergey said in fact was “improving the browsing experience.” This is an important distinction. Google will build something else, something which will presume the browser as a starting point, and make *what is being browsed* more valuable. There are already plenty of folks who are making the browser valuable. Google’s play is in what the browser shows you, not the browser itself. That was the brilliance of Google 1.0, and I’d warrant the same will be true of version 2.