If I understand this correctly, this basically makes the browser real close to an operating system, and makes web only devices like the Chromebook even more functional.
One criticism of the the all-web-apps approach taken by the Chromebook is there are certain apps that do lend themselves to being a web app. Video editing is one, it takes way too much processing power, and you can not have the editing on a server, and then the display downstream via the web. Latency would be an issue; the video would be slow and jumpy.
By being able to execute code inside the browser, a browser only PC can do serious apps, like video editing.
This is going to lead to a new generation of web apps.
This article by TechCrunch says this is a long time coming, and refers to a talk in 2010 when Google first mentioned this.
In reality, this is what Microsoft feared starting at the dawn of the internet and why they fought hard to preempt other browsers or "choke off Netscape's air supply" as a Microsoft executive was quoted as once saying.
A browser back then able to execute code would have threatened the Windows OS dynasty. And it would have let any upstart write a word processing program, host it on their server and entice users to visit the site and use their app. Someone once said that it was easier to start a new airline then to get a word processor into the market to challenge Word. This would have made it possible.
My next compute may be a Chromebook after all.
One huge fly in this ointment. Using a Chromebook exclusively requires a net connection. Not problem, we have a reliable one at home, and where I would want to do computer work when outside my home usually have good wifi connections.
It's the download caps my ISP, Comcast, has in place that's an issue. Their 250 gig a month limit is ostensibly to protect my neighbors from users from me hogging all the bandwidth on the street. In truth, many feel, and I agree, it is to limit our ability to enjoy video via streaming. They want to protect their market in video.
My family has come much closer to hitting that limit the last couple months then ever before as my son is home and enjoying a lot of net video.
And it is not as if they simply charge more when we hit 250, but rather they cut off users for up to a year for violating the 250 gig if you do it two months in a row, as I understand it.
This alone may make me switch to FIOS which does not have the limit.