Race To Data Portability: Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Weave

Google announced bookmark sync to the Chrome browser in a blog post earlier today. Chrome users can sync their bookmarks across various machines and store them alongside Google Docs. While the feature is not a new concept amongst browsers, the significance is that yet another player is storing your data in the cloud with the ability to distribute it across networks. As predicted by ReadWriteWeb and Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang, it appears that your social data is converging with the browser with potentially huge implications for data portability.

Similar to Google’s Chrome bookmark sync, Mozilla’s Weave Sync prototype also allows for continuous synchronization of bookmarks. Weave also offers shared browsing history and saved passwords across multiple machines. Not to be outdone by today’s Google Chrome announcement, Mozilla Labs updated its blog with more details on the upcoming Weave 0.6 launch. While the post outlines a number of performance improvements and UI changes, perhaps the most interesting section is the reiteration of the initial Weave concept. Says Ragavan Srinivasan, “Weave, as a Mozilla Labs project, is a collection of experiments around integrating services in/with the browser. The two most active experiments we have going on are related to synchronizing your web experience and integrating identity in the browser.”

This commitment to identity integration, coupled with Chrome’s move to cloud-based bookmarking, point to the growth of the borderless social web experience – an experience that has been a long time coming. For years we’ve asked for social network portability and the freedom to manage our own online relationships. With this rising trend towards browser-based service integration and cloud-based data storage, we’re one step closer to realizing that dream.

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