|Google’s Vic Gundotra
SAN FRANCISCO — Google kicked off its I/O developer conference here with a spirited endorsement of new Web tools and adoption of new standards, particularly HTML 5, as driving a new generation of more innovative applications.
“The Web has won — it’s the dominant programming model of our time,” said Vic Gondotra, Google’s vice president for engineering.
Gondotra and other Google personnel showed off new tools including Web Elements, designed to simplify the process of adding new features to Web sites. In a demo, a Google product manager showed how to add features like search and geolocation to a Web site by copying and pasting a block of Web Elements code.
In his discussion of HTML 5, Gondotra was later joined by officials from Mozilla and also Palm, who strongly endorsed the Web content standard. Gondotra noted that leading browsers are already supporting elements of HTML 5, including Firefox, Opera and Chrome.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has announced support, though the Gondotra seemed to push for more of a commitment.
“Microsoft could much to move the Web forward,” he said. “We’re excited to hear Microsoft’s commitment to the HTML 5 standard and we eagerly await evidence of that.”
Gondotra said years ago, when he worked at Microsoft, there had been a lot of doubt that Web applications could ever match the performance of desktop applications. But he said the gap is rapidly closing.
For instance, Google today showed off a browser-based 3-D environment similar to a rich interactive game, with lifelike textures and lighting.
“These standard platforms from Android and others really bring a lot of power and intelligence to the edge of the network,” Scott Miller, director of product management at Sybase, told InternetNews.com. “It’s changing the economics of developing for a mobile audience, which is becoming increasingly more attractive.”
Ahead of the Google I/O conference, the search giant had been tight-lipped about what would be announced at the keynote, and there was some speculation that new Android devices would be shown off. Without getting specific, Gondotra said there would be major announcements at tomorrow’s keynote.