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Google's Chrome Re-Ignites The Browser, Download Today

erku's picture

After an odd leak was accidentally emailed, revealing the technology, Google went live with the info that tomorrow they will be releasing a beta of a new browser, called Chrome (site is still not live), in over 100 countries. Yesterday Google announced in an official blogpost that it would be making Chrome available for download today (Sept 2, 2008).

Chrome browser download will be available here http://gears.google.com/chrome, but the site is not live yet.

A Google browser has been rumored for years, as it would be a natural extension of their pervasive web-related technologies. Of course, it's interesting that just last week Google extended its support of the Mozilla Foundation until 2011.

Both the comic and Google's press release give details on the new browser. 'Course, a comic is a lot more fun to read.

The book is broken into five parts:

Stability, Testing and the Multi-Process Architecture

As pretty much required by current browser users, Chrome will have tabs. But using the "Chrome Process Manager," each tab will run in its own process.

Google says this will use a bit more memory up front” but over time also “less memory bloat.”

Speed: Webkit and V8

Chrome will be open source, built using Webkit, which is already used in Apple's Safari browser.

What's V8? It's a JavaScript Virtual Machine, built from scratch by a team in Denmark, and open-sourced.

Speed, speed, speed, particularly in terms of complex and rich web applications, according to Google.

Search and the User Experience

Of course, what would a Google presentation be without a section on search. This section, however, is also about UI. One interesting UI change is that Google has move the tabes from their typical place below the address bar to the top of the windows.

Each tab can be detached and moved to a different window. Each tab gets its own sets of controls, and its own address bar, which Google is calling the "OmniBox."

Looking at the description of the "Omnibox" from the comic, it sounds a lot like Firefox 3's "Awesome Bar."

It will suggest search terms and pages to you based on your browsing history and search results.

Security, Sandboxing and Safe Browsing

Anti-phishing and other such security measures have been added to browsers as threats have continued to escalated. According to the comic, this project must have been in development for a long time, as it noted that when the project began, financial gain from malware loaded by browsers wasn't there. That has to have been a long time ago.

To keep malware from web sites from reaching your PC, each Chrome process (tab) is sandboxed, meaning it can'accessing or affect other processes on the computer.

Simplistically said in the comic:

"We've taking the existing process boundary and made it into a jail."

Gears, Standards and Open Source

We've already said this browser will be open source. It will naturally also include Gears, Google's open source browser extension, used to create offline web apps.

In this section, Google answers the question as to why an open source, rather than propriety browser.

Google lives on the Internet. It's in our best interest to make the Internet better.

Conclusion

I'll admit, I'll be one of the first to download and try it out. If you are, too, remember it's beta. Of course, Gmail is still beta after all these years, so beta for Google might be a little different than for others.

But still, I'd expect bugs to be there.

Is it a game changer? Probably not, if for no other reason than laziness. Many people will just stick to the browser already on their PC. It's taken years for Firefox to gain significant market share (at nearly 20% as of August, according to Net Applications).

It also took years for corporations to admit they had to support Firefox.

However, those like you and me will give it a shot and download Chrome browser when it is available, and if nothing else, the ideas embodied in Chrome will reach other browsers, like the Google-backed Firefox. And hey, maybe in a few years, Chrome will have a 20% market share, too.

Reported by Tech Ex

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