After the latest Google Chrome Developer Summit in San Francisco, California, it’s clear that Google has positioned itself to compete more robustly with Microsoft.

Though no slouch in its own right, Google isn’t Microsoft…yet.

They have many entities from YouTube to Nest to Boston Dynamics. Well, to be fair, it isn’t Google that owns it, but the Alphabet Company. Splitting hairs aside, Google has an impressive resume, but it’s still not on the same level as Microsoft.

The latest from the Chrome Developer Summit signals that Google might be gearing up to compete with the technological titan.

image of the Project VisBug interface for article Chrome Developer Summit Signals Competition With Microsoft
The Project VisBug in-browser interface supports fluid changes. | Google via ZDNet

Chrome Developer Summit Confirms New Direction

Google showed off its commitment to developers and designers this week. Many of the highlights from the summit include code-forward features and integrations.

Three of the more notable updates include squoosh.app, web.dev, and the exciting Chrome extension Project VisBug.

All of these do different things, but all of them provide insight into Google’s overall strategy as they move forward into the 2020s.

As a brief primer, squoosh.app enables service workers to function offline and web assembly to power image codecs. You can even find all of the code for it on GitHub.

What this means in non-coder speak, however, is that you can find the best codecs to make images smaller while still in-browser. This theme of doing everything “in-browser” continues through the other two highlights, too.

Web.dev features tons of resources and sample code to learn with/from. It comes fully integrated with Lighthouse and with Glitch embedded. This means you can monitor website performance and “remix” code as you see fit.

Project VisBug is probably my favorite — another in-browser tool. It’s a bit of an experiment on Google’s behalf to augment how designers and developers interact with web pages.

The “point, click, and tinker” interface encourages collaboration by keeping everything in the window with no code windows needed. You can change things more fluidly with drag and drop, button presses, and other efficient UX options.

You can find the open source code for this on GitHub, too.

Consolidating style and features across different platforms puts Google a step ahead of Microsoft. | FirmBee | Pixabay

Bridging Mobile and Desktop to Outperform Microsoft

With its capabilities in Google Drive ever expanding, Google already competes with Microsoft when it comes to things like documents and spreadsheets.

But with such a developer-forward and collaboration focused summit, one has to speculate if Google’s new commitment and outlook doesn’t have something to do with expanding into Microsoft territory.

Though it is just speculation for now, it will be interesting to see how both companies move forward. This goes double for Google and it’s new “AI-first” initiative.

We will have more articles dissecting the technology presented and goings on of the summit in the coming weeks as we (and others) have a chance to better understand all of the new odds and ends of Google’s new direction.

What has been your favorite reveal or feature of the summit?

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