Google announced that the launch of it's browser or OS for the internet Chrome. This is a direct shot at Microsoft's IE as well as desktop dominance. However, surprisingly, this decision shocks me as it's partnership with Mozilla's Firefox was going well. Maybe the top brass at Google did not like the idea of depending on other company to extend it's Internet dominance.
What does this mean for Firefox long term? Google is one of the biggest supporters of Firefox. It has contributed financially and in terms of development talent. According to PaidContent, "just last week Google extended its support of the Mozilla foundation until 2011".
At CNET, Matt Asay writes
Google had many failures in the past. Google desktop, Videos,etc. Hope this does not becomes the same. However, Google has created enough buzz to ensure considerable amount of downloads on the first day.
Nor can I imagine web developers getting excited about developing for yet another browser. It took years for anyone to start developing for Firefox, and no one got excited about developing for Flock or other spin-offs of Firefox. Google has the brand equity to make people pay attention to Chrome in the way start-up Flock never did, but could Chrome be Google's Zune moment?
In the media player world, the iPod reined despite Microsoft coming out with a good-but-not-good-enough alternative. Firefox has managed to gain a 20 percent market share after years of fighting: 72 percent of web users still slum with Internet Explorer. Are these magically going to dump Internet Explorer just because Google showed up to the party? Unlikely.
I don't think the web developers of websites will be happy as they have to create websites suitable for several browsers and their several versions.
UPDATE: Download Chrome Here(windows XP and Vista only. No version for mac and Linux yet)