Google is jumping into the browser wars with both feet today with the launch of its
new open source Web browser, called Google Chrome.
The new browser takes elements from Mozilla Firefox as well as Apple’s Safari Web
browser to deliver what Google hopes will be an optimized Web experience.
The Chrome browser will have Google facing off against its partner Mozilla as well as
its rival Microsoft for domination of the Web browser market. Chrome is geared for
handling the increasingly complex and data-rich applications such as video that are
accounting for an ever-greater share of Internet traffic, and that can challenge the
limits of existing browsers.
“We realized that the Web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich,
interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser,” Sundar
Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, wrote in a company blog post. “What
we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for Web pages and
applications, and that’s what we set out to build.”
Google is releasing the Windows version of Chrome today with versions for Mac and
Linux systems to follow.
In the proud Google tradition, Chrome is designed with a sparse user interface that
Pichai likened to the company’s home page.
“To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters,” he wrote. “It’s only a tool to
run the important stuff.”
Behind the uncluttered interface, Google claims it has come up with a fresh take on
the elements of a browser, including tabs that are partitioned in their own “sandbox,”
allowing them to run faster and more securely.
order to handle a powerful class of applications that have yet to be invented. Improving
After building the beta version of Chrome by borrowing elements from an array of open
source projects, including Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s WebKit, Google said it will make
the browser’s source code available to the developer community.
The term Chrome itself is not something new in the browser world either. Chrome is a
key UI area of the Mozilla rendering engine. Google is an important partner of Mozilla’s
and is responsible for the bulk of Mozilla’s
revenues. Google and Mozilla have a a deal such that Google pays Mozilla for search
queries that come from the Firefox start page. Just last week, Mozilla revealed that the
deal was being extended by three years until November 2011.
Mozilla, however, is trying to appear unfazed by the competitive threat that Google
Chrome may represent. Mozilla recently updated its Firefox browser to version
“As much as anything else, it’ll mean there’s another interesting browser that users
can choose,” Mozilla CEO John Lilly blogged. With IE,
Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc – there’s been competition for a while now, and this
increases that. So it means that more than ever, we need to build software that people
care about and love. Firefox is good now, and will keep on getting better.”
Lilly also noted that Mozilla will continue to collaborate with Google on technical
fronts to continue the evolution of web browsing.
“Mozilla and Google have always been different organizations, with different missions,
reasons for existing, and ways of doing things,” Lilly blogged. “I think both
organizations have done much over the last few years to improve and open the Web, and
we’ve had very good collaborations that include the technical, product, and
Microsoft will also face competitive pressure from Google Chrome. Just last week
Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 Beta
2 which includes a private browsing feature similar to one that is set to appear in
“The browser landscape is highly competitive,” Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of
Internet Explorer, said in a statement e-mailed to InternetNews.com. “But people
will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their
fingertips, respects their personal choices about how they want to browse and, more than
any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online.”
Google confirmed today’s launch of Chrome after having accidentally leaked word of the
browser’s launch to the Blogoscoped.com blog in the form of a 38-page comic book outlining the project.
The Chrome browser also stands as the latest alignment of the business trajectories of
Google and archrival Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer, recently upgraded to version 8,
commands roughly three-quarters of the browser market.
Updated to add comment from Microsoft
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