By blurring the boundary between Ajax and RIA, Google has found a way to grow into the Mesh that Microsoft is close to delivering from IT outward. In many ways, this strategy is supportive of the new Microsoft as much as it is disruptive of the old. Just as Microsoft can’t be stopped from executing on its cloud strategy in the enterprise, neither can Google from its base in the user cloud. Where the two platforms meet in the middle looks a lot like a hybrid of iTunes and Office.
That is from Steve Gillmor as he compares video chat with Silverlite :)
You can look at this as some amazing plan, or maybe a Gmail chat team that thought video would be a natural progression?
One key aspect of the new Gmail chat is mentioned as part of the launch blog post:
We designed this feature using Internet standards such as XMPP, RTP, and H.264, which means that third-party applications and networks can choose to interoperate with Gmail voice and video chat.
Once again, standards lead the way for a Google team. This shows how this can be so much more than just an end user feature.
Let’s do a thought experiment: What if?
- This was not yet another plugin (a la Lively 3D), but rather just a Gear? Something that could be reused by developers right away so they could add video and audio in a way that reaches many end users, using standards
- And what if it used the audio and video HTML 5 tags? Chrome could implement them, and Gears could give us a shim to at least give us the APIs, if not more. Of course, other browsers have implementations too!
Google’s “Silverlite” is already here: Gears. If we all kept building on that we could do so much. Add the ability to load and update seperate Gears (modules) so in this case people would have gotten a video/audio module update to their existing plugin.
This is important
Video is huge, and is exploding. It is something that the Open Web doesn’t have a good answer for yet, and we need one. Right now you have to use Flash or Silverlight, and I would prefer more choice ;)
First we need to get players and codecs out there. The video/audio tags are fine, but what can they play? Apps such as Gmail video could deploy that technology. Then the next step is in tooling. How do we plug in to the current video development process? How do we reach the creative types? Without the toolchain, the technology won’t matter.
Can we get from here to there?