A group of industry heavyweights, including Google, Box, Citrix, Dell, Imprivata, Intel, Okta, RingCentral, Slack, VMware and Zoom, today announced the launch of the Modern Computing Alliance.
The mission for this new alliance is to “drive ‘silicon-to-cloud’ innovation for the benefit of enterprise customers — fueling a differentiated modern computing platform and providing additional choice for integrated business solutions.”
Whoever wrote this mission statement was clearly trying to see how many words they could use without actually saying something.
Here is what the alliance is really about: Even though the word Chrome never appears on its homepage and Google’s partners never quite get to mentioning it either, it’s all about helping enterprises adopt Chrome and Chrome OS. “The focus of the alliance is to drive innovation and interoperability in the Google Chrome ecosystem, increasing options for enterprise customers and helping to address some of the biggest tech challenges facing companies today,” a Google spokesperson told me.
I’m not sure why it’s not called the Chrome Enterprise Alliance, but Modern Computing Alliance may just have more of a ring to it. This also explains why Microsoft isn’t part of it, though this is only the initial slate of members and others may follow at some point in the future.
Led by Google, the alliance’s focus is on bringing modern web apps to the enterprise sector, with a focus on performance, security, identity management and productivity. And all of that, of course, is meant to run well on Chrome and Chrome OS and be interoperable.
“The technology industry is moving toward an open, heterogeneous ecosystem that allows freedom of choice while integrating across the stack. This reality presents both a challenge and an opportunity,” Google’s Chrome OS VP John Solomon writes today.
As enterprises move to the cloud, building better web applications and maybe even progressive web applications that work just as well as native solutions is obviously a noble goal and it’s nice to see these companies work together. Given the pandemic, all of this has taken on a new urgency now, too. The plan is for the alliance to release products — though it’s unclear what form these will take — in the first half of 2021. Hopefully, these will play nicely with any browser. A lot of these “alliances” fizzle out quite quickly, so we’ll keep an eye on what happens here.
Bonus: The industry has a long history of alliances like these. Here’s a fun 1991 story about a CPU alliance between Intel, IBM, MIPS and others.