Google: Fulfilling Netscape’ Original Vision

With the release on Monday of a software platform known as Native Client,

With native client, Google is on the track of bringing in a “web operating system.”

Over a decade ago, Netscape was the technology name that made users smile and competitors tremble. And one of the things that kept Microsoft awake at night was the fear that Marc Andreessen’s company might be able to turn the browser into a kind of web OS. Using a new software scripting language known as Java, the theory went, Netscape would be able to offer services and features through the web browser that would compete head on with software installed on PCs.

The Netscape’s vision of bringing in a web OS was a topic of concern for Microsoft at one point of time. To overcome that fear, Microsoft pushed its own scripting language for the browser, known as ActiveX.

Moving ahead from this entire old story, the latest is the announcement by Google to bring in web operating system based on its scripting language Native Client. As of now, Native Client seems to be developer friendly version of ActiveX.

Native client will allow browsers to run code in the language understood by a user’s PC, rather than having to translate everything on the fly thus allowing browser-based software and services to run faster and to offer more functionality than now.

The combination of Google’s new Chrome browser, its Gears software that allows web apps to store data for offline use and synchronize it later and the Native Client language that is close to being a web OS.

Applications and services could run on any computer, storing data whenever an Internet connection wasn’t available and effectively erasing the boundaries between desktop and web.


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