Google forecasts browsers will beat out app stores

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App stores do not represent the future of the mobile industry according to Google's vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra, who maintains consumers will instead turn to web browsers to fill their information and entertainment needs. Speaking Thursday at the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco, Gundotra said no one, including Google, is rich enough to support all of the myriad mobile platforms in existence, a circumstance that mandates a shift in thinking away from the fragmented app store model.

"What we clearly see happening is a move to incredibly powerful browsers," Gundotra said. "Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning. We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that's where Google is investing." Gundotra added that Apple CEO Steve Jobs proclaimed "Build for the web" with the initial launch of the iPhone, a statement that met with resistance from developers: "I think Steve really did understand that, over the long term, it would be the web, and I think that's how things will play out."

For more on Gundotra's forecast:
- read this Financial Times article

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