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January 26, 2005

Again with the GBrowser

Almost a year ago I published some comments about the future of web browsing and the web.

Like all good prognostications they were largely wrong, as I discuss here. But I will claim to be among the first to talk about the involvement of Google in the browser space. And this was long before the GBrowser hysteria a couple of months back.

So now I return to the subject very briefly, with excitement about Google and Browsers again hitting fever pitch with the announcement by Mozilla Foundation heavy Ben Goodger that he is taking a position with Google (while continuing to do much of that he has been doing with Firefox at Mozilla).

Let's look at Google's other recent G app. GMail. This still in beta mail application runs in your browser, and works with all modern browsers.

So, see what I am thinking. GBrowser will be a browser that runs in your browser, just like GMail.

Think about it.

You fire up your browser of choice.

You go to GBrowser.com

This presents a UI for browsing the web - managing bookmarks and RSS feeds, for entering URIs and so on.
When you go to a URI or click a link, GBrowser catches the content and presents it to you in your browser window, but inside its own UI. It could even do some correcting for browser bugs, making our lives as web developers much easier.

Makes perfect sense to me, what do you think?


p.s. lots of news about westciv, south by southwest, the SxSW Web Design Awards, Style Master 4, podSites, and more coming soon


January 26, 2005 | Permalink


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What a wonderful idea. I only wish I had thought of it first! It makes so much since. The GBrowser.com could included all your RSS/Bookmarks, list new mail, buddy list of Gmail friends, everything.

Posted by: Josh | Jan 27, 2005 4:05:14 AM

MM...I actually don't like that idea so much. Wouldn't that be like...the perfect spyware? You get a browser inside a browser, they get logs of all your internet activity and passwords for sites you get. I do trust google, but I'm sure they would at least do some stat-finding. As for me, I'm pretty happy with my Firefox and Web Developer toolbar.

I can think of a time when something like that could really come in handy. If it had a "engine switcher" that you could toggle the engines of browsers like IE, Opera, Safari etc. and view each page as it would in those browsers. That would be a webdev's dream come true.

Posted by: Jalenack | Jan 27, 2005 1:27:30 PM

Seems like a bit of a waste. Opening a browser withtin a browser is like using IE (or any other browser) with AOL: now you've got two applications eating up your system resources.

I like the idea of an installed browser from google that is built on the firefox foundation, with a thunderbird-like gmail. Google can spend the marketing bucks and get it pre-installed on every dell, compaq, toshiba, hp, and eMachine that comes with longhorn. License it for free to netzero, earthlink, peoplepc, time-warner, comcast, and aol and watch IE fade away.

Your browser and email would be linked to a google account with bookmarks, feeds, and other features held online in a shell that will recognize your browser and add to it. At an internet cafe or borrowing a friends laptop? Log-in and get your bookmarks, mail, etc. When you log-out, the browser goes back to its default configuration. Want to keep stuff off the google account? Apply it only to your installed browser. You get to set how much stays on your machine, and how much google sees.

Back in the real world, I love Jalenack's idea about different renedering engines in one browser.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 28, 2005 12:24:24 PM

hmmm, I think I'd prefer a stand alone browser myself, and I have *some* issues with privacy here so long as I can set my prefs easily to maximise my privacy I'm happy, then again maybe I'm just being paranoid?

Posted by: Stuart | Jan 29, 2005 6:18:47 AM

Nah. I just think that you suck.

Posted by: yay | Feb 1, 2005 12:15:25 PM