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Machine Learning Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

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Meet Chrome, Google’s Windows Killer

Make no mistake. The cute comic book and the touchy-feely talk about user experience is little more than a coat of paint on top of a monumental hatred of Microsoft.

Chrome, the Webkit-based Google browser that launches tomorrow at Google.com/chrome, will give them a real foothold on the desktop and way more control over how web applications perform.

They’ve built their own Javascript engine despite the fact that Webkit already has one. This should make Ajax applications like Gmail and Google Docs absolutely roar. When combined with Gears, which allows for offline access (see what MySpace did with Gears to understand how powerful it is), Chrome is nothing less than a full on desktop operating system that will compete head on with Windows.

Expect to see millions of web devices, even desktop web devices, in the coming years that completely strip out the Windows layer and use the browser as the only operating system the user needs. That was going to happen anyway, but Chrome + Gears just made the decision a whole lot easier for hardware manufacturers to make.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is stuck with a bloated closed source browser that they are legally restricted from tying to their search engine. Google can push their search engine and other web services all day long on Chrome, with no government interference. So not only will Chrome drive lots of incremental revenue to Google, it also paves the way for a Microsoft-free computing experience.

I love Chrome already and I haven’t even tried it yet (nor will I be using it much soon, since it will only work on Windows for now). But Google’s days of unchecked growth may soon come to an end. They are quickly becoming the new Microsoft.

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