Today Google the launch of the open-source Google Web browser entitled Google Chrome. Oddly enough, this announcement was set a bit early as the browser will not be made available to the public until tomorrow.
One might wonder why Google would enter into the browser market. To paraphrase a famous Homer Simpson quote:
Google, how could you? We’ve all thought about creating our own Web browser at one time or another, but what about the victims? Hard-working developers at Mozilla, Apple, or Opera. These are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said, “Me too!”
Looking at the description that Google has put out using a Web comic by comic book/cartoonist legend Scott McCloud, Google Chrome seems to essentially take many features that are already present in browsers, and puts the Google spin behind them. These features include:
- Safari/Konqueror’s Webkit HTML/CSS rendering engine.
- Opera’s “speed dial” feature.
- Firefox’s Awesomebar/IE8’s Smart Address Bar (dubbed Omnibar by Google)
- Mozilla Prism (only not using Mozilla’s mechanism)
- IE8’s InPrivate mode
- Opera/IE8’s tabs above the address bar
- Sandboxing (doesn’t every modern browser do this?
- a harmful sites check (I believe IE does this, not sure about others
From what I can tell, the only major features that Google Chrome has for it are that tabs will be a separate process (a fantastic idea, but likely something other browsers could not due without a total software re-write), and native integration with Google Gears (something other browsers required a plug-in/extension for). All in all, a pretty good offering by Google. I hope that it offers us excellent developer tools like Firebug. Let us see if it takes off.