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Google Chrome comic book  (Source: Google)
Google yet again takes aim at Microsoft, with a new Internet browser this time

Google has publicly released its own Web browser, Google Chrome, in an effort to compete with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, it was revealed over Labor Day weekend.  News of the new browser reached a few select Google users through a 38-page comic book that is available by clicking here.

"We believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web," a blog entry on the official Google Blog reported.  "All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there."

Chrome will be available tomorrow for Microsoft Windows users in more than 100 nations, with Google working on a Linux and Apple MacOS X versions in the works.  A time range for the Linux and MacOS X versions has not been released.

The open source browser was built using Apple WebKit, Mozilla Firefox, and other open source technologies -- and Google will open up Chrome so the community has the ability to tinker with it.

Google is engaged in a battle with Microsoft on multiple fronts, with Internet browsing, e-mail, calendars and word processing, and similar services the focus of both companies.  IE is used by 75 percent of internet users, although it has been slowly losing ground to Firefox.  Google and Mozilla recently renewed their working agreement with one another, and the agreement is good until 2011.  

Last week, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8, offering multiple features lacking from previous IE versions that left users frustrated and annoyed.  Google built a "foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications" better than other browsers, utilizing new techniques not used with other browsers.  For example, Google hopes to have faster browsing by using Javascript; using cloud computing to make information available offline; a bug in a single tab will affect just the one tab, not the entire browser like in Firefox and IE; and tabs will be located on top of the address bar.

There has been heavy speculation over the past couple years about Google working on its own internet browser, but the company remained silent about its project.

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RE: Hmm
By gss4w on 9/1/2008 11:12:42 PM , Rating: 5
I think it is more likely to take market share from Firefox than IE, at least initially. People who use Firefox are, for the most part, more likely to experiment with technology than those who use IE.

I personally use Firefox as my primary browser and I plan to try out Google Chrome as soon as it is available. Whether I switch to using it as my primary browser will be determined by which one provides a better user experience. I use Vista x64 and Firefox crashes frequently enough to be annoying (but not often enough to get me to switch to IE). One thing that sounds good about Chrome is that each tab runs in its own processes, so one tab crashing should not crash the entire browser.

Overall people who use Firefox are more likely to experiment with different browsers. But for Chrome to get significant market share it will have to be doing something much better than IE and Firefox are doing today. We should get an idea who likely that is when the browser is released tomorrow.

RE: Hmm
By Master Kenobi on 9/1/2008 11:21:37 PM , Rating: 5
The problem is that Microsoft seems to have beaten them to the punch when it comes to independent process tabs. IE8 Beta 2 which was released last Thursday, contains this same feature. I am however interested to see how the Chrome JIT engine measures up against the new one in IE8.

RE: Hmm
By Ryanman on 9/2/2008 9:30:07 AM , Rating: 4
What google's doing with chrome, from what I understand, is make an "always open" brower. Memory and CPU intensive to start, but it "saves" system resources over time, becomes more efficient the longer it's open.
Now in my experience (as a firefox user) I want a browser that can open pages more quickly with minimal bugs and more features than IE for instance. It's nice to open firefox quickly and have all these capabilities, then close it when I'm done. I'm a relatively tech savvy individual who also does heavy gaming. This means I close my browser before I run any game.
My question is, who keeps their browser open for hours and hours at a time? Who doesn't use any other applications that take up memory and CPU usaage? The answer is people who AREN'T tech savvy. Who DON'T try anything other than IE. And Google can't package this in malware fasion like Apple did with Safari either. The target market for a resource heavy browser doesn't have the knowledge or inclination to actually use it.

I'll try it, see if it can play well with my other power applications and let me multitask in offline functions. If not, I'll be sticking with Firefox.

RE: Hmm
By omnicronx on 9/2/2008 11:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
What google's doing with chrome, from what I understand, is make an "always open" brower. Memory and CPU intensive to start, but it "saves" system resources over time, becomes more efficient the longer it's open.
While I understand entirely what you are saying, I think you have oversimplified what Google Chrome is suppose to do. First off, it seems that the added features only really matter if you take advantage of tabbed browsing, regardless of how long you leave your browser open. The first feature, which others have already mentioned was released in IE8 last week is each tab has the ability to run on its own thread.

The second is the memory management involved with the tabs. When a tab is closed, all memory involved with that tab is now available, whereas with IE7 and firefox, the other tabs simply reuse the memory pool which can result in fragmentation over time, which will slowly eat up memory.

One of the big added bonuses regardless of if you close your browser or not, is that if one tab crashes, the browser does not, as it simply has to close the thread in question that is causing the problem. This should include tabs and plugins that are installed.

RE: Hmm
By Ryanman on 9/3/2008 12:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
I did oversimplify : )
Just got done reading the comic book or whatever and then posted this. Doesn't mean I don't understand, or that I didn't know what you mentioned in the second half of your comment though.
Of course we have the performance numbers today, and chrome doesn't seem that bad when you have one or two light tabs.
But I need the ability to have four or five tabs open occasionally, and in this I'm not going to be able to keep chrome running with my games. It's a minor thing (especially if the UI wins me over and I like it being lighter on its feet when I'm browsing normally), but one that I'm going to take into consideration.

RE: Hmm
By paydirt on 9/2/2008 11:30:39 AM , Rating: 3
I am tech savvy and leave browsers open. Usually it is because I have multiple browsers (each w/multiple tabs) open and the reason being is that they are tabs for things either TODO or to read.

RE: Hmm
By flydian on 9/2/2008 11:52:22 PM , Rating: 3
My question is, who keeps their browser open for hours and hours at a time? Who doesn't use any other applications that take up memory and CPU usaage?

Well, everyone at the tech support center I work in does, for 9-13 hours at a time. We have 2 different ticketing systems, both browser based. We have an online documentation system, also browser based (Wiki style). We access dozens of webmail systems, online course systems, and record keeping systems, all of which have some kind of browser based front end (often Java powered).

As it stands, Firefox crashes on me 2-3 times in a 9 hour day, sometimes more if I do something stupid like open two big Java based systems at the same time, or anything for Oracle.

So anyway, there's just one (or 50 if you count all of us) example of an answer to your question. (ironically, I left this message for about 10 minutes to do some work, and Firefox 3 crashed on me while loaded a simple Java based application). :(

RE: Hmm
By DeepBlue1975 on 9/2/2008 9:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
And maybe you, like me, realized that using IE in Vista x64 is not a good option most of the time, because of Adobe's laziness on releasing flash support for 64 bit browsers.

Not that I'd switch to IE from FF if it supported flash, but I always like to have options (there are still sites out there that are made ad hoc for IE and don't render correctly on FF, and if any of those sites has flash content, I'm left alone with the subpar option of seeing it incorrectly rendered on FF because IE can't even show it)

Ahhh how I miss the days when I used Lynx on Unix SCO and I could do with watching sites in text only mode :D

RE: Hmm
By darklight0tr on 9/2/2008 5:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
Even if Flash was x64 capable, we'd need a 64-bit Java plugin too. :(

RE: Hmm
By Zurtex on 9/2/2008 10:34:34 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with that in the short term, but I wasn't thinking about short term market share. Google have the power to push this to people who didn't even realise you could get another browser.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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