Buried in Google's announcement that it is developing an OS called "Chrome" was a brief mention that its go-back function would be an actual time travel app, raising issues far beyond a potential competitive threat to Microsoft.The reason for the relative silence on the news is that those issues are proving difficult to resolve.
"So far, we can't restore a PC without starting an alternate timeline," said a source familiar with someone who knows people at Timex, which is rumored to be working on the software (a Chrome beta has been traced to an IP located in Siam). Google could be developing an ad sales model to sell packages in multiple universes, however, and has been briefing agencies on the possibilities for buying cross-timeline campaigns. The slogan "same consumer/multiple purchases" is being tested, according to an executive who has participated in one such meeting.
Fred Schmidlap, a senior technology analyst, suggests that a time travel app would change the OS landscape entirely. "Forget cloud computing, or the Internet. Chrome could invent an entirely new product category for Existence Systems, or 'ES'." He points to hits that stock prices took in companies like pharma, alcohol, and other consciousness-influencing businesses after Google's announcement as evidence the market is already factoring ES into its forecasts.
The time travel functionality has also prompted attention on anti-trust and competitive grounds, as leaders of the world's top religions have reportedly sent a joint letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and asked him to respond to rumors that the restore app will include an opt-in "resurrection" function.
But how will it impact Twitter, you might ask?
Users might be able to follow their future selves, thanks to a tachyon tweet rumored to be in development. "Imagine the utility of knowing answers to questions like 'what's for breakfast?' before asking them," commented Schmidlap. Of course, this could raise new questions about monetizing the service, or any other social media tool, but current research indicates that "zero" is an absolute value across the multiverse.
There's no consensus on when Chrome ES will make its consumer debut, although in one alternate timeline, Google has already introduced it with an auto-play function, so users repeat the same moment every 3 seconds. In yet another, Microsoft came up with it instead, only nobody bought it.