What to Expect from Browsers in the Next Five Years: A Perspective

Moderated by:
Dion Almaer (Set Direction)
Douglas Crockford (PayPal), Brendan Eich (JavaScript), Ben Galbraith (Walmart.com), Alex Russell (Google), Håkon Wium Lie (Opera Software)
Location: New York West
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 27 ratings)

There is no greater time than this to discuss what browsers will look like in the future. We are at a point where the browser is the most important piece of software you will ever use and it is moving to platforms other than just your desktop: in places like your mobile device, your TV, your game console and even your refrigerator.

As browser technology advances and with the emergence of so many competitors what new innovations will we see? Will the same players dominate on mobile devices as the ones on desktop? What will be some of the features that will be important for users? Is it speed or security? Or something else? One vision of the future is the browser controlling all your devices: TVs, home automation, microwave, fridge, etc.

Browser makers are taking Web standards more seriously and it will be interesting to watch which specifications will be implemented by who in the coming years– more precisely HTML5, CSS3 and SVG. What kind of advances will we see in rendering engines and JavaScript engines in the next couple of years?

Top players in the browser world come together on one panel to butt heads and predict the future of browsers.

Photo of Dion Almaer

Dion Almaer

Set Direction

Dion Almaer is the founder of a brand new company named Set Direction where he has the pleasure of working with Ben Galbraith. The pair co-founded Ajaxian.com together and they are now focused on helping developers deliver fantastic experiences and working to set the direction of the software industry as a whole.

Dion has been a technologist and a developer writing Web applications since it took over from Gopher. He has been fortunate enough to speak around the world, has published many articles, a book, and of course covers life the universe and everything on his blog at almaer.com/blog.

He has been called a human aggregator, and you can see that in full force if you follow him on Twitter @dalmaer.

Photo of Douglas Crockford

Douglas Crockford


Douglas Crockford is best known for having discovered that there are good parts in JavaScript—an important and unexpected development. He also discovered the JSON data-interchange format, the world’s best-loved data format, and various JavaScript tools, such as JSLint and JSMin. He works at PayPal.

Photo of Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich


Brendan Eich was founder and long-term CTO at Mozilla. He also served as SVP of engineering and briefly as CEO. Brendan is widely recognized for his enduring contributions to the Internet revolution. In 1995, he invented JavaScript (ECMAScript), the Internet’s most widely used programming language. He cofounded the Mozilla.org project in 1998, serving as chief architect, and has been a board member of the Mozilla Foundation since its inception in 2003. Brendan helped launch the award-winning Firefox web browser in November 2004 and Thunderbird e-mail client in December 2004.

Brendan holds a BS in math and computer science from Santa Clara University and an MS in computer science from the University of Illinois.

Photo of Ben Galbraith

Ben Galbraith


Ben Galbraith, together with his long-time friend Dion Almaer, forms one-half of the dynamic “Ben and Dion” duo that founded Ajaxian.com, headed Developer Tools at Mozilla, ran Developer Relations at Palm and is now running mobile architecture and engineering at Walmart.com after being acquired along with their start-up team in early 2011. Ben’s been writing code since he was six and starting businesses since he was ten; he’s written books, given hundreds of award-winning presentations world-wide, produced a few technical conferences, sold three companies, and has held CEO, CIO, CTO, and Software Architect positions in the medical, publishing, media, consumer electronics, advertising, software and internet industries. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and six children.

Photo of Alex Russell

Alex Russell


Alex Russell has served on the boards of the Dojo Foundation and the OSAF. He helped develop and lead the team that built the Dojo Toolkit, the JavaScript toolkit that organizations turn to when performance, accessibility, and internationalization concerns finally come home to roost. Alex currently works at Google on Chrome, a Webkit-based browser that is helping the Web evolve faster.

Photo of Håkon Wium Lie

Håkon Wium Lie

Opera Software

Håkon Wium Lie joined Opera in 1999 as the Chief Technology Officer. Prior to his position at Opera, Wium Lie worked for W3C, where he proposed the concept of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

After receiving his Master’s degree from MIT Media Lab, Wium Lie worked as a research scientist at Norwegian Telecom Research and later at CERN, the birthplace of the Web. From 1995 to 1999, Wium Lie worked for W3C, after which he joined Opera. He has also received a PhD degree from the University of Oslo in 2006.

In 1999, Technology Review included him on the TR100 list, “a group of one hundred young innovators in technology from around the world”. Wium Lie was also honored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the “Technology Pioneers” in 2000 and 2001.

In his spare time, Wium Lie enjoys spending time with his family, listening to classical music, painting, driving his electric car and fighting advertising. He currently resides in Oslo, Norway.

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