Google has released a programming tool to help move its Native Client project--and more broadly, its cloud-computing ambitions--from abstract idea to practical reality.
The new Native Client software developer kit, though only a developer preview version, is designed to make it easier for programmers to use the Net giant's browser-boosting Native Client technology.

"The Native Client SDK preview...includes just the basics you need to get started writing an app in minutes," Google programmer David Springer said Wednesday in a blog post announcing the SDK, a week before the developer-oriented Google I/O conference. "We'll be updating the SDK rapidly in the next few months."

Native Client, or NaCl, is designed to let browsers run programs at nearly the speeds of those compiled to run natively on a computer system. It's fast enough to handle tasks such as video decompression and first-person shooter video games, and it's designed to handle adjusted versions of existing software, not just programs written from scratch.

Native Client is one of several efforts at Google to weave the Web deeply into the fabric of computing. That mission will be on center stage at the company's I/O conference, set for May 19 and 20 in San Francisco.

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