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Summary:

Google recently announced an extension framework for Chrome, adding the ability to run extra software in the browser. It’s a feature many had long considered missing from Google’s browser — and one that has been key to Firefox’s popularity. But with the Chrome extensions, Google is […]

Google recently announced an extension framework for Chrome, adding the ability to run extra software in the browser. It’s a feature many had long considered missing from Google’s browser — and one that has been key to Firefox’s popularity.

app-engine-into-google-apps-trimmed But with the Chrome extensions, Google is doing much more than just playing catch-up with Firefox. An extensible browser is the missing piece of a much bigger puzzle: By tying its App Engine to Google Apps (more details in the App Engine blog), the company has delivered a complete ecosystem for cloud ISVs.

All software ecosystems need four basic things:

  1. A platform — A complete cloud platform is distributed, ubiquitous, and works both offline and on. App Engine lets developers build the server-side portion and not worry about scaling. And Chrome’s extensions let coders build a cross-platform user interface that leverages the Gears framework to work even when disconnected.
  2. Rich APIs — All those apps can use authentication, chat, OpenSocial, calendaring, Checkout, search, mapping, and other Google services. That makes it easy to build rich apps with familiar components.
  3. Administration — Google Apps lets an administrator purchase, provision and manage permissions for an app. Deployment is easy: Once you’ve found the app you want in the Google Marketplace, just click the “add” button, then install the Chrome extension.
  4. A market — Google Apps has 10 million active users and is signing up some 3,000 new companies a day, according to Matthew Glotzbach, product management director of Google Enterprise.

With the Chrome extensions, Google has made it possible for ISVs to launch ready-made niche applications for the cloud. It’s the same thing Facebook did with its API and Salesforce did with AppExchange; in Google’s case, ISVs now have a turnkey channel that can reach small businesses easily.

The ability to let Apps customers buy third-party software isn’t quite ready yet. “Now, Google Apps administrators can also deploy several new Google applications hosted on App Engine to members of their organizations with Google Apps Labs,” said Pete Koomen, product manager for App Engine.

So for example, a dentist’s office could use Google’s Docs suite for word processing and spreadsheets, but also buy third-party apps from Marketplace — one for patient scheduling, and another for invoicing. They’d all work smoothly together, online and off, using the Apps/Docs/Chrome ecosystem.

With Google looking to find revenues beyond advertising, monetizing those 10 million accounts has got to be a big priority. Selling third-party applications can’t be far off. Of course, these apps will work with any browser. But they’ll likely work better with Chrome and its extensions.

  1. App Engine is a JOKE! seriously. I mean they have released like 0.5% of their big table technology and expect ppl to do work arounds.. Its a piece of crap. Not useful beyond toy “guestbook” apps.

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  2. [...] No, no ha eliminado el sistema operativo. La función del sistema operativo, la de gestionar los recursos de la máquina, sigue estando ahí. Es un trabajo sucio, pero alguien tiene que hacerlo. Pero la experiencia del usuario y progresivamente una mayor parte de sus tareas son gestionadas por el navegador, que es donde se sitúa el panorama competitivo, relegando al sistema operativo a ofrecer seguridad y solidez a cambio del consumo de los menos recursos posibles. Sistema operativo reducido al mínimo, navegador que engorda y se encarga de gestionar, mediante Gears y aplicaciones afines, cuestiones como el comportamiento de las aplicaciones según el estado de la conectividad, además de las aplicaciones en sí y su compatibilidad a través de las diferentes plataformas. Prácticamente un kernel Linux comprimido entre el hardware y el navegador. La nueva competencia ya no es entre Windows, Linux u OSX, sino entre MSIE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari u Opera. Un escenario diferente, para una batalla muy interesante, para la que Google parece además estar dispuesto a armarse muy bien cuidando los cuatro puntos básicos: [...]

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  3. [...] wrote a piece for GigaOm on the gradually forming Google strategy for applications. Here’s the short version: Google [...]

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  4. [...] Chrome’s Extensions: The Missing Piece for Google Apps – GigaOM Friday, December 5th, 2008 Technology, The Web [...]

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  5. [...] this month, Google launched its extension framework for Chrome, which we pointed out was a way for the company to tie the browser into apps that run on Google’s App Engine. In other [...]

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  6. [...] lack of extension support, but that appears to be progressing faster than a Mac or Linux browser. Google has already announced a framework for extensions that allow developers to design and implement custom features or functions. Just last week, they [...]

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  7. [...] App Engine a paid service is another step toward establishing the developer ecosystem we described in December. While Google wouldn’t confirm our suspicions, Koomen did point out that it’s possible [...]

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