Google’s new browser, Chrome, appears to be a major improvement not so much for its functionality but for its stability.
In software land, version 2 of something indicates the first serious incorporation of user feedback. In this way, Web 2.0 addressed user needs for more interactivity and multi-user, multi-site collaboration.
In software land, version 2.0 brings the new functionality, but you will have to wait for version 2.1 if you want stability. From my software years I know that this is an arduous task, and often involves major structural rethinking, even when that is hardly visible from the outside.
Looking through the design story of Chrome, it is clear that this is a major redesign that takes into account how the web is actually used today.
Of course, there is no traditional self contained packaged software labeled Web 2.1. Making web applications work involves an entire ecosystem of software components, of which the browser is only one. Nevetheless, Chrome enables other agents in the ecosystem to assume a more dependable browser. I’ll discuss the strategic business implications of that in my next post.