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Google Chrome has the potential to replace the Windows desktop — and kill Adobe's Flash for extra points. So said Marc Andreessen, one of the programmers behind the world-changing Mosaic browser. He'd long ago envisioned a future where instead of running applications from a desktop operating system, computer users would get everything from servers on a network. It wasn't his original idea, but Andreessen pushed Netscape developers to replace the desktop with a "webtop." The result, Constellation, was bloated and slow. Ten years later, Andreessen told a small crowd at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto that Google is finishing his work:I've edited down Om Malik's report on the talk.

  • “Any desktop application that has not been implemented in the browser is now going to be implemented in the browser.”
  • Chrome's speed, especially its advanced JavaScript engine, will push Firefox and Internet Explorer developers to make massive upgrades to their own products. “Microsoft can build good products when they want to."
  • “If JavaScript gets any faster, then developers will question if they should develop in Flash or Silverlight."
  • “Super interactive browser that sits atop a super-fast connection…now interesting things will happen over the next 5-10 years."

(Photo by Joi Ito)