Google browser targets federal market

Google steps up pressure on Microsoft

Google is subtly increasing pressure on Microsoft with a new release of its Chrome browser. Government employees may now have a new alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer platform: Google has released a new stable version of its browser for Mac and Linux, bringing it out of beta for these two platforms. The browser's latest version for Windows had been released earlier.

The new version comes just weeks after the company released speed enhancements to the beta version of Chrome 5.0, which improved its V8 and SunSpider benchmarks by 30 and 35 percent, respectively.

The new version allows users to synchronize both bookmarks and browser preferences across multiple computers, including themes, Web content settings, preferred languages, page zoom settings, and home page and start-up settings.

Chrome 5.0 also has more HTML5 features, such as geo-location Application Programming Interfaces, Web Sockets, App Cache, and file drag-and-drop. Google extensions users will be able to enable extensions to work in incognito mode through the extensions manager.

Google is pursuing Federal Information Security Management Act certification for its Google Apps suite of cloud-based productivity applications, which the company is positioning as a direct competitor to Microsoft's desktop applications such as Word and Excel.

David Mihalchik, Google’s federal business development manager, noted that over a dozen federal agencies are already using Google Apps, which consists of Gmail, Google Sites, Google Docs and a video tool.

Federal agencies are interested in the cloud-based technology as increased budget pressures, including pressures to cut IT budgets, are pushing them to seek less expensive alternatives to Microsoft’s application suites.

Google Chrome has been increasing its share of the browser market. According to Net Applications, third-ranked Chrome gained 0.6 percent in market share over March, commanding 6.73 percent of web surfers as of end-April.

Existing Chrome users will be automatically updated to Chrome 5.0 soon, but users may download it here now.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group