Microsoft researching Google Gears/AIR competitor

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Microsoft Research is building a new web browser called Gazelle that attempts to be an OS in the browser. They are exploring all of the security/stability issues that would surround using the web browser as an operating system. I know the AIR comparison isn’t exact (the big difference is that Gazelle is a web browser, whereas Gears/AIR are browser plugins), but to me reading over their design goals and challenges, it sounds a LOT like what Google Gears and Adobe AIR are trying to accomplish.The interesting thing is that they are even considering this when they own a near monopoly in desktop operating systems. Gazelle, Gears and AIR would all make the operating system virtually irrelevant if the entire development community moved in that direction. So Microsoft stands to lose a LOT of money if these things are succesful. However, I think the computing world is slowing moving all software towards the web, and Microsoft is being wise by recognizing that fact and trying to stay ahead of the game.