Scott Hansen in a recent post of his has dissected Google’s recently released Chrome web browser and has found code that uses the Windows Template Library(WTL). The WTL was open sourced by Microsoft in 2004. Till now it was relatively unknown, but now since Google has used it, its going to pickup interest. Google uses the WTL to draw the UI for Chrome. In using this library Chrome makes the most of native speeds. Another of Microsoft’s pioneering efforts, the XMLHttpRequest object in web browsers, was also popularised by Google in its GMail web mail system. Prior to that this little gem from Microsoft was pretty much unknown. GMail ushered in the era of Ajax and the RIA.
It makes very good business sense for Google to use the WTL for Chrome. That way they can generate impressive startup speeds and make the user experience a lot more enjoyable one. Unfortunately Chrome is yet to be released for Mac and Linux operating systems. Taking a different perpective, it makes all the more sense for Google to target the Windows version first. The fact is Microsoft Windows is the dominant desktop operating system. By providing Chrome for Windows first, Google has ensured that it reaches a huge number of people even though the Mac and Linux audiences are being made to wait. Also, due to the WTL, Google could achieve a more enjoyable experience with Chrome on Windows with relatively less effort. That is definitely one of Google’s objectives.
According to reports, the Mac and Linux versions are still some distance away.