This Friday I was chatting with a respected industrycontact – someone who I consider reliableregarding Google’s technology initiatives – and waspassed some interesting and exciting information. The impetus ofthe discussion was an entry I put upback on October 3rd – a post in which I opined that Googleis big enough that it can lead web standards rather thanjust follow them. If the source is to be believed, and I thinkthey should be believed, I made a lucky guess and there issome truth to it.
I will add the caveat that the information I have been fedcould be completely bogus misdirection: It couldbe a market research probe to see how the community accepts it, orit could be a bit of a hint of what Google is up to in efforts toprepare the marketplace. I should also say that normally I woulddisregard this sort of information if I can’t publicly attribute itto someone credible, but in this case I find it so logical, andthought-provoking, that I’ll make an exception.
The “facts”, purportedly and as interpreted by me from a casualconversation (these were conveyed by verbal chatting, and not aformal white paper, though I have gotten them to confirm that thegist of this post are accurate in regards to what we discussed),are as follows:
- Google isrolling out a data center strategy to support nationwide -and eventually world-wide – pseudo thin-clients. Thiswill be technically facilitated by geographically distributedcomputing centers, as well as by an extraordinarydark-fiber bandwidth capacity that Google will bringonline.
- Google has been developing a completely newthin-client protocol (for the purpose of brevity I’m going to callit G-Windows for the rest of this entry, though that name isentirely of my own making) – a hybrid between thehigh-level document layout of HTML, the vector capabilities of SVG,combined with the best attributes of X, Remote Desktop Protocol,and even DirectX/GDI. Clients of G-Windows will be rich enough tomanage the high level abstractions (e.g. like HTML), whilestill allowing side-by-side and completely integrated server-siderendering with integrated streaming raster graphics.
- Purportedly G-Windows will be published and open once version1.0 is released.
- Google has been proceding with across-platform implementation plan for a fork ofMozilla/Firefox that supports G-Windows (no mention of InternetExplorer, but presumably a plug-in for IE would make sense aswell).
- Google has been in talks with an unnamed large set-top boxvendor (think PVRs) to provide a thin-client media center box thatnatively supports G-Windows.
- Google will roll out side-by-side, but more interactive andfeature rich, G-Windows applications to compliment their existingweb apps.
This could make for some very, very exciting times, and it mightprovide a more feature rich programming model and user interfacethan the current duct-tape of technologies delivers.