Google has a cunning way of keeping their little ideas slowly creep up on you.... We'd all heard about the Google Search desktop.. looks like its arrived!
This site here provides more information on their ambitions beyond just search... (e.g. gBrowser).
Following on from what a few people have been saying regarding Googles strategy a couple of things are probably clear now:
- They will leverage their vast knowlede of Global Internet Server infrastructure.
- They are focused on building Service Oriented Applications (this means server-side apps)
- If they do venture into the Browser space, it will be tightly integrated through all their server side applications (Search, Gmail, Picasso/Hello, Blogger, Google News, Google Groups) using XML Web Services.
- Their own cookie-based authentication works across applications.
Well all this leads me to believe that if they do extend Gbrowser (they may build it via a Web Services layer) that exposes this via a Mozilla type application.
Ive even heard one person say that Google are going to create a rebranded version of Mozilla/Firefox that integrates Google apps re-written in XUL instead of HTML. XUL is essentially an XML-based UI language that allows you to describe Windows-like user interfaces in XML.
This would allow Google to develop browser-based network-centric applications that have rich UI functionality that web developers only dream about. Think about it...