Google’s (GOOG) biggest push behind its Chrome Web browser is speed — especially crunching Web apps like Google Docs, GMail, etc. But could Google also build a few key “cloud” services into the browser itself to give it an edge over competitors like Mozilla’s Firefox?
One idea Google is already working on: Bookmark syncing, presumably among multiple computers. This is a feature Apple charges for — you need a $100/year MobileMe subscription — and Firefox requires an add-on to use.
But Google is building it right into Chrome, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler reports. Right now, he says, you have to punch in a little code to get it to work — something most people wouldn’t do. But eventually, you won’t.
Once it’s a normal feature built into Chrome — assuming it’s on the roadmap — that’s something that Google could really push as a feature: Keeping bookmarks synced between home and work computers, laptops, Android phones, whatever. And considering Google’s huge investment into cloud computing, etc., it seems like a feature they could offer better than Mozilla.
And why stop with bookmarks? Presumably there’s a bunch of stuff that you’d want to keep in your browser everywhere — stored passwords, history files, toolbar layout, settings, etc. You could even sit down at a friend’s computer somewhere, log into Chrome with your GMail account, and boom — it’s like your in front of your home browser.
Sounds like it could be a winner. But perhaps a small one. Would ‘cloud’ anything be enough to get people to switch to Firefox from Chrome? So far Chrome has market share around 2% — not very good.
Or does Google need a more aggressive strategy — like buying the default browser spot on new PCs? (Or is Chrome OS that strategy?)
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