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The browser is a beautiful thing
The idea of the browser as a universal user interface is neither new nor revolutionary. Many commentators have discussed the idea since the beginning of the century. After all, it is the natural next step in the evolution of the Internet and has precedence on the desktop which we have all witnessed.
Much the same way Microsoft Windows started life as a veneer on top of Microsoft DOS, only to grow into a full featured native OS, the browser started life and grew on top of a variety of host operating systems and will eventually emerge as a native OS on a number of hardware platforms.
Morfik has been a supporter of this concept since its inception. We published white papers on the subject as early as 2005 and even called our product WebOS AppsBuilder to emphasize the point. However, for Morfik, Web OS has a much broader definition. To us, it is the web in its entirety that is the operating system and the browser its universal user interface.
Google’s announcement of Chrome OS and the release of its first beta will no doubt be followed by similar announcements by other players. What Gmail and Google Maps did for the proliferation of Ajax, Chrome OS may do for the recognition of the browser as the universal platform. In our opinion, the most important contribution of Chrome OS is the demonstration of the fact that with the browser as the standard universal interface, the underlying services that manage the hardware devices are irrelevant to the user and the developer, and only of concern to the hardware manufacturer. In other words there will be no OS wars this time!
The only danger ahead is the possible renewed attempts by vendors to beat a proprietary path inside the browser with plug-in technologies. The HTML5 standard gives us the ability to free ourselves from the plug-in trap but it falls on developers and users to insist on exclusive use of standards, to avoid the fragmentation of the market, for the benefit of all. Morfik is committed and will certainly support such an effort.