Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Today in Mountain View: The Google Chrome Browser Is Released Into the Wild (and to the Wilding Media)

Later his morning, the media circus has been summoned to the Googleplex in Mountain View for a look-see at Google’s new Internet browser and a chitchat with execs about the meaning of it all.

(Also, while there is only a 54 percent chance of being lectured to by the Big Brains of Google, there is a 100 percent chance of both free comic books and tasty organic snacks!)

And Chrome, the shiny code name of the project, which has stuck as the brand name, will also be going out to the world at large–100 countries, that is–right after that.

BoomTown is bringing the trusty Flip video camera to make some Silicon Valley memories, and will render a full report about what’s what.

But until then, I have decided to forgo writing the expected long, long, long, long what-the-new-Google-browser-represents-for-geekkind thumbsucker.

Instead, here is my three-part short version about Google’s new piece of open-source software to navigate the Internet, using my favored cultural references:

1.) Google=Red cape and and way too many picador lances. Microsoft=Really angry bull (not at all flower-sniffing Ferdinand-like).

2.) Remember “War Games” and the then-cute Matthew Broderick as teen nerd David Lightman, playing Global Thermonuclear War with the supercomputer called Joshua, and then being told the consequences of that by head government techie John McKittrick (Dabney Coleman)?

If not, here’s some dialog from the movie that is now apt, if you imagine Google (GOOG) as David and Microsoft (MSFT) as Joshua:

McKittrick: See that sign up here–up here. “Defcon.” That indicates our current defense condition. It should read “Defcon 5,” which means peace. It’s still on 4 because of that little stunt you pulled. Actually, if we hadn’t caught it in time, it might have gone to Defcon 1. You know what that means, David?
David Lightman: No. What does that mean?
McKittrick: World War Three.

3.) And, last, if Google’s Chrome browser does not take off on all the hot-air hype, isn’t outstanding as a product and does not make a substantial dent in Microsoft’s overwhelming market share in the browser market, I’d point to one of the best opening lines from “Sunset Boulevard”–the one with Joe Gillis (William Holden) narrating about himself post-mortem as a floating corpse:

“The poor dope–he always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool.”

Well, Google has got itself an Olympic-sized pool now!

We kid! Google’s in no danger of foundering, given that its search business still dominates, and quite profitably, of course.

But for all the halo of that, Google has never had any other similar true home run with any of the other products it has released so far.

And to portray Chrome as a Windows killer–which some are quite incorrectly doing–is not the kind of image Google should encourage.

Nonetheless, with this move, the search giant has certainly stepped into the spotlight more than it ever has (and this is a company that–let’s be honest–never misses a chance to frolic and show off in that spotlight).

So, with these loftier ambitions, I think it is fair to say that this time Google had better be ready to actually perform better than Michael Phelps.

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”