New Web Browser. Chrome ‘Beta’ from Google. has Webkit and Mozilla roots. Google Window I suspect.

Posted on 02 September 2008 by



Breaking News (Meaning I don’t have much information at this stage!) Google have just posted confirmation that they will launch a new browser tomorrow (3rd Sept.)

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

That doesn’t sound too exciting but if its Ajax-focused, it could be interesting for mobile users. Its a hash of Firefox and Webkit by the sounds of it.

We’ve used components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox, among others — and in that spirit, we are making all of our code open source as well. We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward.

I’m looking forward to trying it out, testing its capabilities and speed tomorrow. Stay tuned for some UMPC-based Chrome action! Questions to be answered:

  • Is it fast for ajax?
  • Does it support grab and drag (our fave) plugin
  • Is it just a google-focused window to Google apps?

More comment from Matt Cutts (Google.) More official info at the Google blog,

Update: Chrome is now available for download. Have installed on desktop and don’t see any way to ‘grab and drag’ or fullscreen or do any sort of plugin activity. That will kill it for most people I think. What exactly are they trying to achieve with Chrome?

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Travis says:

    The launch of Chrome is September 2nd here in the US.

  2. fixup says:

    For desktop, Firefox is just fine. Unless the google uses far less memory, I won’t bother.

    ChristophD Reply:

    My thoughts exactly. I can’t see Chrome offer any significant advantages over Firefox 3. Plus it will be hard for them to compete with the plethora of Firefox extensions.

    Now something that I’d find more interesting is a project to crossbreed Thunderbird and GMail. Both solutions offer some pretty damn cool features but combined they could really give Outlook / Exchange solutions a run for its money.

    Kevin Reply:

    I find it hard to understand why people would dismiss Chrome in favour of Firefox before they’ve even used it. There seems to be a lot in it which could turn out well, and I imagine that popular extensions will be ported for Chrome pretty quickly.

    Firefox is good. I hope Chrome will be even better.

  3. davetweed says:

    What worries me about this is that if it’s designed for google to push out more and more web-apps, then it’s basically going to implement it’s own “window manager” in a window instead of using the window manager the user actually wants to use. For instance, from the comic linked from the blog it looks like there’s no option to “automatically lay out one tall tab and other tabs packed into a second column” like there is in my current window manager. Now maybe that doesn’t make much sense for web pages, but at least with a separate window manager I get the choice. Whilst chrome may be open source, it looks like it’s not designed to be extended in those kind of ways.

    Still, one thing google might actually do well is write algorithms render webpages better when you set default fonts to a bigger font size than the web page designers felt you should use, unlike the pure dross IE and firefox manage on most sites.

  4. Martin says:

    Google has some good stuff, but an web browser next to firefox is not necessary. I really like Firefox and these very handy plug-ins.

  5. Fixup says:

    In the view of google, the main reason for this is the Firefox plugins: ADBlock+, FlashBlock and YesScript. With these plugins, plus disabling image animation, I no longer see any ads and I have been wondering: how long google would stay in business?

    If the Chrome allows you to block ads, you kill me.

  6. Ian says:

    Chrome is ready for download right now! It looks really good! Might be bye bye Firefox for me. Giving it a run thru right now.

    http://www.google.com/chrome

  7. chippy says:

    My first opinions.
    No full-screen. No grab and drag.
    Fast
    Per tab processes should help with page error lock-ups.
    Overview feature very nice.
    Have spotted an Ajax error with the product database here
    Javascript handling seems to be fast
    Incognito mode will be good for certain people!!

    Steve

  8. Ian says:

    Yep, I noted the full screen thing too, plus a decent zoom like FF3. Already added it to the feature request list on the Chrome site.

    http://groups.google.com/group/google-chrome-help-suggestions/topics?hl=en

    Grab and drag would be good, as would a slew of handy plug-ins. The Ubiquity plug-in is hard to lose. I guess we wait a while…

    Will still use FF3 for a while yet in addition to Chrome. :)