Google Announces the Launch of Google Chrome… Tomorrow

Published on 1 Sep 2008 at 7:45 pm.
Filed under Web stuff.

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.
  • A JavaScript Virtual Machine (present in the nightly builds of Firefox 3.1 and set to be present in Safari 4.0)
  • 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.

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