Last week during a Mac software update, I came across Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) Chrome App Launcher for an experimental edition of the browser, also known as Chromium. I've been unable to stop using it in the days since.
See, I'm a heavy user of Google services. I use Slides to create presentations like this one. I use Sheets to track my time writing and the resulting revenue. I use Docs for writing almost everything I submit to Fool.com, including this article.
Yet App Launcher's capabilities don't begin and end with fast access to Google Drive. Indeed, anything I've added in the "Chrome Store," including apps that exist primarily on my Chromebook, are captured in App Launcher. WorkFlowy, TweetDeck, Hojoki, QuickBooks -- they're all accessible via Chrome on any of my devices. On my Mac I can launch them directly, just as if they were desktop apps.
Mac and PC users who have already created a machine-specific workflow won't care about these changes to Chrome. They won't be helpful. But for those with work that takes them from a desktop to a smartphone to a tablet and back again -- an increasing percentage of the American workforce, I suspect -- App Launcher might make getting things done just a tad easier.
Google wins, too. The search king gets to collect even more data without having to build and sell new hardware. Investors should love that idea: Motorola has suffered operating losses in each of the past five quarters.
What about Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) ? What does having Chrome App Launcher available for Mac and PC owners mean for them? Nothing, yet. Chrome is a threat only insofar as it leads to high-volume sales of Chromebooks. Google and its partners have yet to realize that, and it could be years before it does.
Cloudy with a chance of billions
Of course, Google isn't the only company betting on the cloud. Our analysts have identified three other companies that stand to make billions as consumers and business alike do more of their computing online. You've heard of one of them, but you're probably never heard of the other two. To find out what they are, click here to watch this shocking video presentation!