Google Browser (Chrome) - the Internet Explorer Killer

If Microsoft is moving into the Cloud, Google is expanding to the Desktop and to the Windows client. The Mountain-View search giant is on the verge of making available a beta version of Google Chrome, a browser initially designed to integrate only with the Windows platform, but which is set to be tailored to additional platforms in the future. Not even out yet, Google Chrome is positioned as an Internet Explorer killer, far beyond what Microsoft's rivals Mozilla and Opera have been capable of doing with their own products.

"This is just the beginning – Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust," revealed Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, and Linus Upson, engineering director.

At the time of this article the Google Chrome bits were not available for download yet. Google is attempting what representatives from the company referred to as a "fresh take on the browser," with every intention to "launch early and iterate." Anchored on the desktop and owning the vast majority of both the operating system and the browser markets, with Windows and Internet Explorer, the Redmond giant is in fact an intermediary between the end users and Google, located almost exclusively into the cloud.

Even though Google claims that Chrome will be made available "because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web," the fact of the matter is that the Mountain View company is making a decisive move to reduce the relevance of Internet Explorer on the world wide web.

At the end of August 2008, Winifred Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation and chairperson and former chief executive officer of the Mozilla Corporation, announced that "we’ve just renewed our agreement with Google for an additional three years. This agreement now ends in November of 2011 rather than November of 2008, so we have stability in income."

So in this context, Google and Mozilla are now obvious partners, on the same front against Microsoft. At the end of August 2008, all the supported editions of Internet Explorer accounted for over 70% of the browser market, according to data from Net Applications, while Firefox was close to breaking the 20% milestone. As a newcomer, Google Chrome will start from zero, but the browser is bound to get traction fast, especially with Google's resources behind it.

The Google Browser features components from Apple's WebKit and Firefox and is a fully fledged open source product. Chrome sports a new approach to the graphical user interface, with the focus on Tabs but also features such as Omnibox, an address bar with auto-completion functionality, as well as a Speed Dial, privacy mode via the "incognito" window, a new method of managing the execution and usage of web applications, and malware protection.

"Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers," added Pichai and Upson.

Update: Google Chrome is available for download here.
By Marius Oiaga, Technology News Editor (


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