Is Chrome your browser of choice? For many around the globe — 39.1 percent as of April, according to StatCounter — it is, which gives Google quite a computing mandate.
I’ve been watching Google’s Chrome strategy unfold for some time now. Chrome isn’t just a browser for the company, it’s a strategy to take over the computing world right out from under Microsoft and Apple’s noses. If you’re a bit leery about my bold thought, perhaps this 11 second video will convince you:
The video demo is courtesy of François Beaufort, a Googler who digs through the ever-changing Chromium code on which Chrome is based and shares his findings with the public. Dragging and dropping an application to the Windows taskbar might not impress you upon first glance, but consider what’s going on here.
The Chrome browser includes the Chrome App Launcher for easy access to web and native applications from Google’s Chrome Web Store. Some of these are simple web apps — shortcuts, even to standard web pages — while others are packaged HTML5 applications that can run outside of the browser on a device with Chrome installed. And others are Native Client apps: Software written in C or C++ that run on their own if the Chrome browser is installed.
By the way: Text is the app in the video demo; it’s a standalone HTML 5 app used for on- or offline text editing and I use it on my Chromebook Pixel for creating HTML and CSS code. Because Chrome syncs apps, I can be on a Windows computer (or a Mac, for that matter) and use the same app; all data is stored on Google Drive. And now I can pin the app to Windows Taskbar.
Pinning these Chrome apps to the Taskbar in Windows offers a seamless way for users to access them, just as they would for their favorite Windows apps. It’s a small feature, but one of many that Google is adding to Chrome of late in order to get more people using the web within Google’s sphere of influence.
Why would it want that? The more users engaged in Google services, apps and the Chrome browser, the more data Google can gather for its lucrative advertising business. And it can do so even more on non-Google devices if the Chrome browser is installed.