What was in the future has come to past.
Netscape created the vision “Browser is the new OS”, only to be destroyed by Microsoft’s relentless integration of Internet Explorer into everything everywhere. Microsoft reached over 95% browser market share, which is no small feat since it was once feared the little Netscape browser would brought about the end of Microsoft. IE team was disbanded. Everything back to normal.
But someone else came along, and it would appear Netscape was right, it was just a few years ahead of its time. Enter Google. Gmail shows the world web based email can indeed be superior. Google Map is still the gold standard in user interface, be it for web or desktop. The Red Pill Project, which has a less threatening name when released to public: Google Web Toolkit showed the world another way to build complex AJAX applications. Google Gears added offline storage, threaded workers, and additional features exposed from the JS API.
Then enter Google Chrome browser. With its unassuming UI, it’s ability to treat each tab as a separate process, build-in google gears. "The Browser is the new OS".