Web browsers are the modern operating system. Google’s Chrome OS, an operating system that runs the Chrome Browser exclusively, is now the second most popular desktop operating system. Additionally, the rise of Electron and similar cross-platform frameworks means that many of the applications we use every day (e.g., Slack) are actually browser applications in disguise.

The ubiquity of browsers has cemented their critical role in consumer productivity and self-efficacy. Given this importance, I wanted to learn how browser extensibility has evolved over the years. Since I couldn’t find a complete history, I set out to write my own.

Disclaimer #1…

Todd Schiller

Co-founder @ PixieBrix. University of Washington CompSci PhD. Formerly AI at Bridgewater Associates. Machine ✘ Business Intelligence

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