Chrome: Do we need a Google browser?

Update:

The Google blog now has the news about Chrome, which will be launched tomorrow. Kara Swisher says Google has ignited a new browser war with Microsoft, and Om Malik thinks that the mobile world will be one of Google’s main attack points. Harry McCracken, meanwhile, has a great list of 10 questions that the Google browser raises.

Update 2:

Om has a post with a response from Mozilla CEO John Lilly to the potential competitive threat from Google, which has been working closely with Mozilla. And Mike Arrington has some screenshots of Chrome that he got from the website (which was briefly up but is now down).

Original post:

The reliably excellent Philipp Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped has what appears to be pretty solid confirmation of a Google browser — known currently as Chrome — that is apparently in development at the Web behemoth. Phil got an email that included a comic from Scott McCloud, which describes the new browser in some detail: it includes several features that borrow from Opera (tabs above the address bar, a “home page” that features most-browsed pages and links, etc.), as well as what appears to be a new approach to the browser engine.

According to Ionut Alex. Chitu at the Google Operating System blog, the new browser will isolate each website in its own “sandbox,” so that if something goes wrong with one page it doesn’t crash the whole browser. Among other things, the browser will also have a “privacy mode” (known in some circles as “porn mode”) in which data about the browsing session won’t be recorded on the host PC — something Internet Exploder 8 is also supposed to include — and will include a built-in phishing and malware filter, as well as an enhanced Javascript engine.

Apart from all of these details, however, the thing that really interests me is the larger point made by Ionut, which is that Google clearly sees the browser as a form of operating system — just as I think the Mozilla group does, as I wrote recently after word of the new Ubiquity alpha announced by Aza Raskin, which is a kind of plugin that tries to tie a number of different Web apps together. Much like Mozilla’s “Prism” feature, the Google browser will also allow Web applications to run in a separate window that mimics a desktop application, and will include support for Google’s “Gears” service, which allows offline caching.

Although there will likely be some concerns raised about Google — the prism through which many people see the Internet — developing its own browser (will it build features that render its pages and search results better than others?), I think competition is overall a good thing. I can hardly wait to see some of the other features that Mozilla and Google and Microsoft come out with as the browser becomes a kind of OS for the webtop or “cloud” desktop.

25 thoughts on “Chrome: Do we need a Google browser?

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  8. Yes we do need a Google browser. I'm finally glad there's a company that sees that how we use the web today is vastly different from when it was conceived. Web “browsing” doesn't even make up my core use of a web browser anymore. These days, I typically have preconceived destinations yet the only tools in a web browser that aids with this use case model is bookmarks. For this simple reason, I'm incredibly excited about Google's browser.

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  13. A dawn of a new era? — There’s definitely not a soul who doesn’t know about the decade long microsoft and google rivalry. Both of these huge goliaths having been constanly pushing themselves to their limits to totally conquer the computer and internet industry. I think I’ll stick with firefox till Chrome moves in and out of beta.

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  17. The only immediate problem I see is for webmasters having to make sure that their site shows up well in this new browser. Firefox is working well for me at the moment, so I think I'll wait until it is fully tested in the public first.

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  20. I am looking for an information, i thnk u guys help me out. So, I just want to know that how can we delete bookmarks, which shows at the right site of the google chrome. All the bookmarks i have in internet explorer are automatically shown in the chrome.
    There is no delete option.
    Any suggestions ?

    • The next time you browse something that you do not want other people to see simply click on the tool directly below the the 'x' on the top right. then click 'new incognito window'

      Nothing will be saved.

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  22. It is a great filling of working with Google and milestones are always a good time for introspection. Interesting, fun, surprising, insightful, inspiring, impactful, and more such words.

    Google is not quite as big as many companies out there, but in its space it has a huge user base for most of its applications (search and beyond). Anything you analytics menu-googlework on will probably touch hundreds of thousands of people.

    Thanks

    working with google

    http://howiworkfromhome.info/google

  23. It is a great filling of working with Google and milestones are always a good time for introspection. Interesting, fun, surprising, insightful, inspiring, impactful, and more such words.

    Google is not quite as big as many companies out there, but in its space it has a huge user base for most of its applications (search and beyond). Anything you analytics menu-googlework on will probably touch hundreds of thousands of people.

    Thanks

    working with google

    http://howiworkfromhome.info/google

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