Deep inside its top secret labs, Google has been piecing together a Frankenstein that will rise and forever change the Web. It’s called Google Chrome. , Chrome is set to blow the barn doors off all the competition with the introduction of SPDY (pronounced “speedy”), a new application-layer protocol. SPDY is true to its name and is capable of revving Web download speeds up to 55 percent. (Developers are expecting to get a closer look at Chrome’s newest build next week.) So what will Google do with this behemoth, and how will it affect the Web as a whole?
SPDY improves upon — but will not replace — our beloved HTTP protocol. It overrides parts of HTTP such as connection management and data transfer formats to intensify speeds. Google has opened the SPDY code to those interested, and, of course, requests feedback on its endeavors. There is no wide release date for SPDY, and Google notes it is still an “early-stage research project.”
PC World touched base with Måns Jonasson, a Web developer at IIS, which is responsible for the top-level Swedish Internet domain “.se.” Jonasson said that in order for SPDY to become a success, all Web browsers need to be on board. Mozilla’s always-open Firefox will likely join the parade; Microsoft might grumble and complain before deciding to maybe sign up.
But Google has the opportunity here to hoard SPDY, make it a Chrome-exclusive enhancement, and create a niche for speed-freaks who want the best possible Web browsing experience. Or Google could “do the right thing” and turn SPDY into a Web standard for all browsers, revolutionizing the playing field but passing off the chance to monopolize in favor of its credo, “Don’t be evil.”
Given its (relatively) smiley-face history, it is likely Google will choose the latter option and advocate for SPDY across the board. But I almost want Google to play hardball with its browser and technology. If SPDY lives up to expectations and indeed slams the pedal to the metal, Google could have on its hands the only logical choice when it comes to downloading a Web browser. It could totally disseminate the competition and put the eternally dominant Internet Explorer to shame. I’m rooting for the Dark Side.