Google now posted on this at their blog, announcing the launch date to be today, 2nd, Sep,Tuesday.
Google is launching an open source web browser to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
The browser is designed to be lightweight and fast, and to cope with the next generation of web applications that rely on graphics and multimedia.
Called Chrome, it will launch as a beta for Windows machines in 100 countries, with Mac and Linux versions to come.
“We realised… we needed to completely rethink the browser,” said Google’s Sundar Pichai in a blog post.
The new browser will help Google take advantage of developments it is pushing online in rich web applications that are challenging traditional desktop programs.
Google has a suite of web apps, such as Documents, Picasa and Maps which offer functionality that is beginning to replace offline software.
“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,” Mr Pichai, VP Product Management, wrote.
The launch of a beta version of Chrome on Tuesday will be Google’s latest assault on Microsoft’s dominance of the PC business. The firm’s Internet Explorer program dominates the browser landscape, with 80% of the market.
Google’ve made the comic publicly available — you can find it here.
In very readable format Google gives the technical details into a project of theirs: an open source browser called Google Chrome. The book points to http://www.google.com/chrome
, but I can’t see anything live there yet. In a nut-shell, here’s what the comic announces Google Chrome to be:
Google Chrome is Google’s open source browser project. As rumored before under the name of “Google Browser”, this will be based on the existing rendering engine Webkit. Furthermore, it will include Google’s Gears project.
Google Chrome will use special tabs. Instead of traditional tabs like those seen in Firefox, Chrome puts the tab buttons on the upper side of the window, not below the address bar.
The browser has an address bar with auto-completion features. Called ’omnibox’, Google says it offers search suggestions, top pages you’ve visited, pages you didn’t visit but which are popular amd more. The omnibox (“omni” is a prefix meaning “all”, as in “omniscient” – “all-knowing”) also lets you enter e.g. “digital camera” if the title of the page you visited was “Canon Digital Camera”. Additionally, the omnibox lets you search a website of which it captured the search box; you need to type the site’s name into the address bar, like “amazon”, and then hit the tab key and enter your search keywords.
As a default homepage Chrome presents you with a kind of “speed dial” feature, similar to the one of Opera. On that page you will see your most visited webpages as 9 screenshot thumbnails. To the side, you will also see a couple of your recent searches and your recently bookmarked pages, as well as recently closed tabs.
Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an “incognito” window “and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer.” The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Google’s use-case for when you might want to use the “incognito” feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoft’s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a “porn mode.”
Web apps can be launched in their own browser window without address bar and toolbar. Mozilla has a project called Prism that aims to do similar (though doing so may train users into accepting non-URL windows as safe or into ignoring the URL, which could increase the effectiveness of phishing attacks).
To fight malware and phishing attempts, Chrome is constantly downloading lists of harmful sites. Google also promises that whatever runs in a tab is sandboxed so that it won’t affect your machine and can be safely closed. Plugins the user installed may escape this security model, Google admits.
This looks like a very interesting project, and I think it can’t hurt to have more competition in the browser area. Google is playing this as nicely as possible by open-sourcing things, with perhaps part of the reason to try to defend against monopoly accusations – after all, Google already owns a lot of what’s happening inside the browser, and some may feel owning a browser too could be a little too much power for a single company (Google could, for instance, release browser features that benefit their sites more than most other sites… as can Microsoft with Internet Explorer). For now, until Chrome is released in a testable version, how much of the speed, stability and user interface promises will be fullfilled – and how much of the interface you’ll be able to configure in case you don’t like it – remains to be seen.
Google Chrome Screenshots
Google announced their browser Google Chrome to be available on Tuesday, but their download page and tour was already partly available at gears.google.com/chrome/ just now, as Uval in the forum noticed. While the download itself didn’t work when I tried, I was able to extract some screenshots, from the frontpage but also the YouTube videos. And while the product tour videos themselves seemed to require a special group membership at YouTube, the video still previews are public and you can paste the video identifier into a URL like this one to see more high quality stills.
Screenshots of Google Chrome from the service’s frontpage.
The auto-completion of the so-called “omnibox” address bar.
The homepage showing 9 thumbnailed pages to access, along with more pointers in the side-bar, to appear “[e]very time you open a new tab”, as Google says.
Zooming in on the browser tabs.
The Google Chrome task manager, e.g. to monitor if certain sites cause memory problems.
A screen showing the “Google incognito” mode for allegedly more private browsing.
Another auto-completion example.
A star near the address input bar lets you bookmark a page, apparently.
A look into the settings menu.
Google in their tour says with Chrome “you see your download’s status at the bottom of your current window.”
[Images by Google.]
Google on Google Chrome – comic book this comic book by Google, drawn by Scott McCloud, is scanned here and shown under its Creative Commons license.
Official Google Blog: A fresh take on the browser
Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project
Don’t Get Hooked on Google Chrome Hype
Where to Download Google Chrome ?