What's Up with Google's Browser?

Google has introduced a new web browser, dubbed Chrome, which the company says is better able to handle the richer, more interactive applications that are becoming more commonplace. Interesting, but is this really necessary? The company is developing such clout that the industry and the channel ignore it at their peril.

Still, this seems a curious product introduction. A new version of Internet Explorer was recently introduced (IE is the de-facto standard with nearly 75 percent of the market), and there's already plenty of competition with Firefox and Apple's Safari. So what's up with this?

Part of the answer is open source: All of the browser's software code is open to other developers, which should lead to a lot of popular enhancements (although there's plenty of third-party apps available with Firefox.) Another issue may be speed: The new browser reportedly will load pages more rapidly (and with more privacy and security) than its rivals.

All very intriguing, though not necessarilly compelling, for the channel's business case, which tends to favor standard-issue, mainstream products when offering a bundled solution. There may be a place for Chrome if it can do something nothing else can do, but in the increasingly more open technology world, first-to-market advantages typically don't last very long. 

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