The Browser is the Future

The Browser is the Future

The Browser is the Future

If we were to ask a sample of people, “What is the first program/application that you run on your computer?”, almost all of them will probably answer that it is their internet browser.

Various technologies and programming languages, such as HTML5, today allow us to create applications that make direct use of the computer’s hardware. While in the not too distant past, the browser could only “display” content, and anything else, such as video, required a dedicated add-on, today the majority of browsers can play video, access the microphone, work “offline,” and resynchronize when the internet connection is reestablished.

This is one of the reasons that pushed Google to launch its operating system, ChromeOS, which is based largely on the company’s Chrome internet browser. As a result, and because this is a thin operating system, it does not require a great deal of processing power. Thus, laptops that run ChromeOS are cheap, and in the past year one out of every five laptops sold was based on ChromeOS. Lots of other companies are joining the party, and this has even led to the creation of a new computer configuration, the ChromeBox, a small desktop computer.

However, even without buying a computer, you too are probably taking part in the “revolution.” If you have Chrome installed on your computer, you can install applications, which can then run separately on the computer without having to open the browser. In addition, Google, to support developers, allows them to collect money for their applications and add-ons, through a range of monetization options, such as: trial periods, purchasing from within the application, and so on.

Google is attacking Microsoft, not only in its most cherished area, operating systems, but also in the field of Office applications. Google recently launched a shop for Google Docs add-ons, that allow greater functionality, and these could possibly serve as a real alternative to Microsoft’s Office software. They might also be more attractive with all devices being connected to the internet, by combining a “conventional” word processor with the “unconventional” capabilities of an internet connection.

Apart from these, the internet browser has untapped potential in the gaming area.

The multiplicity of devices, screens, and operating systems has made the construction of games and their adaptation to the various devices a complex undertaking. On the other hand, an internet browser, which can be found on all these devices, could serve as a common platform, in the same way that Java promised in its day: “Write Once, Run Anywhere.”

An perfect example: the Mozilla Foundation, in cooperation with game developer Epic, are working on deploying the Unreal 4 game engine in the Firefox browser. This will allow games to run smoothly in an internet browser that is found everywhere: on computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions.

Indeed, for developers, the browser is the future.