The Third Browser War and the Fight to Bring the OS to the Cloud
Okay, this article was magical... Arc has completely taken over my mind space since initially getting access. With what I thought Chrome and ChromeOS would one day be (the internet machine), after exclusively using ChromeOS for 6 years to make a point (that even 99% of running a technical software integration company, was achievable in the browser alone). I realized though after using Arc exactly why Chrome OS and Chrome will never be that. Selling my Chromebook and buying my first MacBook Air, never to look back at Chrome/ChromeOS again.
Seeing Darin join TBC and the reasonings behind it resonated so strongly, my past decade of hope summarized in such few words from Darin's mouth, and you did such an amazing job of capturing it all of this and more in this piece. Well done 👏
It's funny, in also trying to explain to people what makes Arc magical, I couldn't help but write a couple months after first discovering Arc, a 4,400 word article on the magic of Arc through my ChromeOS and extension journey: https://efficientvc.substack.com/p/conviction
I genuinely think it's one of those iPhone moments. You either install it, use it for a few days, and "get it", or you judge it from afar. All I know for certain is that we haven't seen something as magical as Arc in a while. In the vision of what it'll be, not just what it is today.
While I love and invest into SaaS, Arc is one of the first times that the vision of what it could be is so much larger than anything else out there. So how can any of us really get this point across? We've tried, we'll keep trying, but at the end of the day, people will ultimately see.
Amazing Piece Packy 🔥🔥🔥
Counter intuitive though it may seem, part of this is likely to work flipped on its head:
“ultimately learning our behaviors and acting on our behalf, sending emails, writing documents, and doing many of the things that we do manually today.
When that comes to pass, it’s going to be jarring to have AI assistants that only operate in the context of specific desktop or mobile apps, or even within the context of a specific OS. Siri will get smarter, and Bing and Google’s AI assistants will get more powerful, and Notion AI is really good, but my guess is that we’ll want our personal AIs to traverse all of the things we do online, whether on desktop, mobile, or something else, providing context or assistance wherever useful. The best place for such an AI to exist is within the Internet Computer.”
The perception that applications are personalized to us when instead they only need understand our context and how that context relates (web of relations) to other entities.
Similarinc.com is developing exactly that data set outside of applications, ergo cross domain. Don’t rule out the browser extensions from the browser opportunity just yet!
This is amazing! Arc is definitely nailing the experience - so glad to see them here! :)
Great walk through memory lane. Long live AOL.
I tried a lot of browsers, and after experimenting with their "new" features, I stuck with Google Chrome
Over the years, I've tried many browsers as well. I've been using Vivaldi for a couple of years now, and I'm quite happy. Often, an article is posted that interests me that I'm unable to read at that time. I leave it in an open tab until I have time. Same deal with emails. I live them unread until I have time to read the email or the articles it notes. I think there's a big future for browsers but I'm not willing to write off the Operating System yet. Mostly I prefer to run apps natively where possible - whatsapp, my password manager, email within an email client, prime video, VLC, and others. Vivaldi handles memory and CPU usage much better than Chrome, but apps usually run better natively than within the browser in my experience.
All that said, I've put my name on the Arc waiting list as I like trying new things.
I’ve been using Arc since last year, and it has transformed the way I view the internet. Excited to think that this may be just the beginning of a new era. It feels like the kind of innovation we haven’t seen in a long time.
The Browser Company has a great vision, and they've put together a fantastic team. I truly hope they can deliver it!
What a great read, Packy. Thank you for that.
Awesome job Packy. This is one of the most insightful articles till date. I think the AI capabilities have proven that the Mobile first strategy is slightly outdated...device agnostic is the holy grail and the browser as the window will be the key control point (=value creation) for this communication. Thanks for the detailed analysis and sharing your thoughts
I remember the term internet computer, or was it called ‘net machine’ as a concept that could have taken over the world 25 years ago. A thin client, no hard disc, no application, just the OS to support the browser (“terminal window”).
Excellent read. Thanks Packy.
Agree that the browser is a very versatile piece of software. 80s era games ported to browsers = cool.
But I have to say that as a security guy - this is like giving grenades to monkeys.
Along with the supercomputer in your pocket, the browser and the smartphone combine to make surveillance capitalism possible and enable serious cyber crime like ransomware.
We need a safe haven for whistleblowers.
Would love to get your take on Qebot's WebOS. Much more focused on how we use the internet - app focused and personalized. Allowing for the user to decide how the "pay" for their browser with Privacy+ really puts the user in control.
"And unlike Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, the Internet Computer stays in sync across all of your devices. Across any device."
Chrome does *exactly* this — it's actually pretty great at it too. All tabs across all devices sync, including history etc. I'm curious what basis this comment has?
All hands on deck!
The interview supercedes everything!
If humanity does act on these revelations,nothing else matters. Share in every possible way to every possible person.