Other World Computing

Google announces 'Chrome' [u]


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Google Blogoscoped reports that Google has announced, via a comic book drawn by Scott McCloud, that it's developing Chrome (404 error), an open-source browser to be based on WebKit, the same open-source browser engine, etc that powers Apple's Safari).

Here's what the search giant says we can expect:

The browser will include a JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8, which is being built from scratch

Chrome will put tabs across the top of the browser window, as opposed to the current method of inside it

Chrome's default homepage will present you with a kind of "speed dial" feature, similar to the one of Opera [Continue reading]

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Chrome will include privacy (ie porn) browsing mode

Web apps will launch in their own windows without an address or tool bar

Processes will be multi-threaded

[u] News.com is running a screen cap from Chrome and also reports that Google will formally announce the browser at a news conference at their HQ at 11am Tuesday, Sept 2. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge. [u]

Slashdot poster AKAImBatman has a very interesting take on why Google is pursuing its own browser:

If they can further convince millions of users to install and use their browser, they can cause enough of a disruption to finally remove IE's leadership in the browser market, especially given the solid work already done by FireFox, Opera, and Safari. With only another 10% marketshare loss on the whole, even the most stubborn websites will be forced to support third party browsers. And, once they support third party browser, it will be very little time before the technological superiority of the alternative browsers causes them to add special features not available for Internet Explorer users.

Microsoft is bleeding both operating system and browser market share because their products have stagnated. And, it may be true that losing another 10% of the browser market will prove to be a tipping point.

However, although the things Google's promising certainly do look good, I sincerely doubt that we need yet another browser to 1.) push Internet Explorer from its pre-eminent position 2.) drive JavaScript / web app development to the next level.

Apple, Mozilla and Opera are driving innovation and their growing shares of the browser market reflect that. Moreover, both OS X and Linux have been steadily adding share, as well, and these converts won't even have the opportunity fire up Internet Explorer.

Lastly, Google already has strong working relationships with Mozilla and Apple. I just don't see how further dividing the non-Internet Explorer segment of the market, only about 30% of the overall, will be of any value to anyone except maybe Microsoft...

What's your take?

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