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Google has seen the future and it’s the Web

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Google got its geek on Wednesday for the kickoff of its two-day I/O conference for 5,000 developers in San Francisco where it pitched its vision of the future: the Web.

“The Web is the most important platform of our generation,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering.

The Internet giant showed off rich multimedia applications that come alive in the browser, not on the desktop, to get developers excited about the possibilities for creating Web applications that people can download to their desktops or mobile phones.

Google also introduced a potentially major coming attraction: a Web applications store called the Chrome Web Store where consumers can read reviews and ratings, and download or buy a variety of applications, including video games and magazines. The idea is to make it easier for developers to get their wares in front of consumers and make money with one-click app purchasing.

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Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, said that developers would be able to build apps for the store using standard Web technologies. The catch: You have to use Chrome to use the store, which will open later this year. It’s being built directly into the Chrome browser and into the Chrome operating system which will launch later this year.

Google also showed off an open-source, royalty-free video format called WebM. Mozilla and Opera executives said onstage that they would support the new format which will compete with browsers from Apple and Microsoft.

As we wrote earlier, Google also made its Wave product open to everyone.

Google wrapped up the keynote by unveiling its Google App Engine, which helps developers build and host Web apps for business. It also announced a collaboration with VMware. This is all part of Google’s ambitious push into enterprise development and puts Google in direct competition with Amazon Web Services. You can read more about that here.

-- Jessica Guynn

I/O conference.


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