What is lacking in today’s web browsers

by Mitch on 2/09/2008

With everything happening in today’s browser market one can’t wonder why all players seem to be missing one major hitpoint with all their attempts to gain market share. In my opinion there is one large component that is being missed by browsers today and it should be reasonable easy to develop. What I’m talking about is cross-platform, cloud-based integration. I’ll explain as I go.

Firstly let me make my point by explaining my current browser setup. At home I run a Mac and at work I use a PC. On both I have Firefox as my browser of choice, but due to the necessity of my work CRM I also use Internet Explorer 6/7 on both. I use several plugins to try and sync as best I can between the computers, but inevitably it’s all just a fix. Okay, so now I will try and make my point.

Google released Chrome today which has some interesting features. Tighter integration to applications is great, but is it enough to win the browser war? Better security is always a good thing, but in a market where most computer users don’t even know which anti-virus they’re running, does it really matter? In fact, most of the features are aimed at techies and not the people who actually need enhanced functionality from an out-of-the-box browser.

Imagine a browser that worked like this… You launch the application and you’re greeted with a login screen. You enter a username and password and the browser works it’s magic; it downloads your bookmarks, it loads your plugins, it downloads your saved passwords, it downloads your form information, and it also loads your history.

Now imagine the same thing can happen on any computer you’re using, with the same features and plugins, even if you’ve never used that computer before. Simple huh? How easy would your life be, honestly?

So many plugins have tried to make this happen, but it’s never truly been seamless and it’s never been 100%, especially when it turns to cross-platform. This would be, as Tolkien would say, “One Browser to rule them all, One Browser to bind them!” Think about it.

No comments yet.

  1. 2/09/2008Kevin Wilson says:

    I may give the impression of being a bit of a Luddite, but I am wary about the explosion of “cloud applications” and the trend towards using various applications over the web rather than having it there in person on a server (for a company) or that beige box under your desk (well, mines actually black).

    I can see the pros in using the “cloud” – accessibility from any terminal anywhere in the world being the biggest. However, unless I totally miss the point of the “cloud”, once you start working in this environment, you relinquish control over your stuff – even if it is just something simple like bookmarks and plug ins.

    The concept of this one browser looks good on paper, but if your job relies on permanent access to this browser and something happens to the server that hosts said browser, plug ins and bookmarks goes down for hours, your productivity goes down as well.

    If it gets hacked and erase, your buggered completely. I’m not prepared to trust that kind of thing to someone who might lose it all on me.

    The “cloud” makes me as wary as our reliance on computers and all these other little gadgets. I swear, if something happens to all the computers in the world, most people would starve to death or get lost without them.

  2. 2/09/2008Mitch says:

    I’m not suggesting that someone should make this application in their back yard with no redundancy or sense of responsibility towards privacy and security. Surely if someone like Google, Mozilla or Microsoft builds this we can do away with those concerns.