Google made a strange acquisition today. Google bought GreenBorder, a security application that sand boxes browsers. Basically, it ensures that when you close your browser, you destroy any potentially malicious viruses and trojans along with your session. It is a “sand box” as in stuff that happens in your browser stays in your browser, keeping the rest of your system safe.
This is weird on multiple levels:
- It has nothing to do with their core business
- Computer security is a highly competitive and saturated market, leaving little room for massive unchecked growth
- Browser security is a tiny niche of computer security and leaves other major Internet based attack vectors open, especially through Outlook (ugh, huh?).
One potential use for this application is the ability to keep competing search engines from changing a user’s default home page. This normally might exist to fight off spyware, but one can see the additional competitive edge.
Google’s aim may be to make the Internet experience much safer. But I can’t see this gaining wide adoption unless they give it away. Google Pack currently has Norton and an anti-spyware scanner, and this would make a cozy fit for a browser-centric solution. It would keep the computer clean where the scanners may have failed. Thus, in my eyes, this is all about bolstering the software offering of Google Pack.
Google Pack is a free software suite given away by Google (click on link below to try it out). It is a collection of free tools such as Firefox, Skype, and Picasa.
Google Pack is an important pawn in Google’s strategy. In giving away the software suite, they are also increasing the market shares of:
- Google Desktop
- Google Toolbar
These are all very important components in keeping Microsoft at bay. So my prediction is that we should see this (or a re-branded version of it) in Google Pack within six to eight months.
Update: Techcrunch has their own theory that this purchase is for enhancing Google Desktop.