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Thread: Google forecasts browsers will beat out app stores

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    Google forecasts browsers will beat out app stores

    http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...res/2009-07-17
    July 17, 2009 10:03am ET | By Jason Ankeny

    App stores do not represent the future of the mobile industry according to Google's vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra, who maintains consumers will instead turn to web browsers to fill their information and entertainment needs. Speaking Thursday at the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco, Gundotra said no one, including Google, is rich enough to support all of the myriad mobile platforms in existence, a circumstance that mandates a shift in thinking away from the fragmented app store model.

    "What we clearly see happening is a move to incredibly powerful browsers," Gundotra said. "Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning. We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that's where Google is investing." Gundotra added that Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed "Build for the web" with the initial launch of the iPhone, a statement that met with resistance from developers: "I think Steve really did understand that, over the long term, it would be the web, and I think that's how things will play out."

    Read more: Google forecasts browsers will beat out app stores - FierceMobileContent http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...#ixzz0tZqgvJRa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather View Post
    http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/s...res/2009-07-17
    Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning. We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that's where Google is investing."
    Don't know what context he was using that statement in, but consumers could care less how much it costs a company to deliver an app to them. There are plenty of companies that are wrecked on the rocks of business plans that provided benefits to THEM rather than their customers.

    That said, I don't necessarily disagree that in the future MANY apps will be delivered using powerful browsers. The multiple platform argument works in that case -developing for a browser that works on many devices is much cheaper than developing multiple versions of software. Google is of course, the kind of company than can build the various browser versions needed for each platform, then leverage that commonality to deliver apps.

    In the medium term, I think it will become apparent that this is the trend, but we will still need some kind of local, device specific access to store data or the app when the network is unavailable. A fail-soft capability will be important in those cases.

    Considering that most applications are not mission critical, we all deal with dropped calls and network outages all the time, the success of this model will be tied closely to the quality of network services, both at fixed points, and of course in mobile applications.

    In the long term, I agree that the majority of apps will be browser based, but they likely won't look anything like the browser we know today anymore than the modern PC looks like an Apple II. Same idea, quantum leap in capability.

    Whether or not his vision is true will be the topic of hot debate for the next few years until it actually happens. Or doesn't. Should provide entertaining discussions for quite a few years.
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    News at 11: Browser-based company makes half-assed attempt at app store, concludes "browsers are, like, totally the way to guy, guys!"

    To be entirely fair, I don't really think the android app store is half-assed, but it's definitely lacking... *something*

    The other good news is that in some ways, this is probably actually true. Steve may well see that particular writing on the wall, which is why he's so desperate to maintain the crippling stranglehold for as long as conceivably possible. Which, like the microsoft of the 90s, will eventually come back to bite him in the ***. I maintain hope, and look forward to that day.

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    html5 introduces some interesting possibilities, including running graphically accelerated code in the browser. However, wireless broadband has a long way to go if we are really going to be playing the browser-will-replace-all game.

    I agree with Chunky_Ks. Does anyone really expect Google to say anything less than "Chrome OS is teh future!!!11eleven" ?

    If Google has its way, even android is dead. All you'll be running on your phone is a browser. You'll go to gdialer.com to make phone calls, and picasa to see your photos, and gmusic.com to play your media.

    However, all that is going to require more bandwidth than is currently available. One reason why Google wants to lay down gigabit fiber all over the place.
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    As far as mobile apps, I've always had the view point that apps would be much better served in a browser environment that being device specific even from a user standpoint. If I were a developer, I'd be most interested in wide distribution ie. getting my app on as many devices as possible. Having to limit an app to say the iOS or developing say 4 versions for the major platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry) is either limiting or potentially 4 times the work. Developing the app once then just have pages optimized for the various screen sizes would be much easier (I would think). From a consumer standpoint, I would love to have the same experience regardless of which device I use to access a service. A web app is definitely the way to achieve that.

    If this trend became a reality, it would really lower the barrier to switching when it comes to things like phones etc. For example, while I don't like Apple's ecosystem with regards to the iPhone, I own one simply for the apps. I was an avid WinMo user prior but as most know the accessibility and polish was really lacking. If i could get those essential apps on say Android etc I'd be much easier for me to move away from the iPhone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prodigalsun View Post
    As far as mobile apps, I've always had the view point that apps would be much better served in a browser environment that being device specific even from a user standpoint. If I were a developer, I'd be most interested in wide distribution ie. getting my app on as many devices as possible. Having to limit an app to say the iOS or developing say 4 versions for the major platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry) is either limiting or potentially 4 times the work. Developing the app once then just have pages optimized for the various screen sizes would be much easier (I would think). From a consumer standpoint, I would love to have the same experience regardless of which device I use to access a service. A web app is definitely the way to achieve that.

    If this trend became a reality, it would really lower the barrier to switching when it comes to things like phones etc. For example, while I don't like Apple's ecosystem with regards to the iPhone, I own one simply for the apps. I was an avid WinMo user prior but as most know the accessibility and polish was really lacking. If i could get those essential apps on say Android etc I'd be much easier for me to move away from the iPhone.

    FYI, the biggest mobile OS platforms are Symbian, RIM, iOS and Windows Mobile (Not Windows Phone 7).


    Android comes in a close 6th, however, these are February's numbers and Android has grown lots since then. Also noteworthy is that in this graph, Linux-based phones (if you count Android as Linux), make up 10%. That's more than Windows Mobile .
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post


    Android comes in a close 6th, however, these are February's numbers and Android has grown lots since then. Also noteworthy is that in this graph, Linux-based phones (if you count Android as Linux), make up 10%. That's more than Windows Mobile .
    That's a pie chart, not a graph.

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    Also @chunkyks it is not a giant leap from biting someones a$$ to kissing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enforcer View Post
    That's a pie chart, not a graph.

    Damn penguins, don't know nuting.



    Also @chunkyks it is not a giant leap from biting someones a$$ to kissing it.
    A pie chart is a circular graph .
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    FYI, the biggest mobile OS platforms are Symbian, RIM, iOS and Windows Mobile (Not Windows Phone 7).


    Android comes in a close 6th, however, these are February's numbers and Android has grown lots since then. Also noteworthy is that in this graph, Linux-based phones (if you count Android as Linux), make up 10%. That's more than Windows Mobile .
    When I made my comment I was being forward looking. IMO Symbian is dying with maybe some marginal growth/movement. Don't think there's any craze and/or many developers looking to develop for that platform. As as developer I really would only look to the 4 mobile OSes I mentioned. WinMo will die of course (as it's development cycle is dead) and Windows Phone 7 will take it's place. Heck I'd even put HP's take over of WebOS in the mix before Symbian. Sorry Nokia... (Kev I think you're one aren't you?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    A pie chart is a circular graph .
    Nah!

    A graph is something that connects points, there are no points in a pie chart.

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