On Tuesday, Google
launched its Google Chrome
project in beta in more than 100 countries. The project, which is an open-source web browser, has been rumored for years now. A comic book
introducing the project by Scott McCloud
(a must-read for the web challenged) was leaked a bit early on the web and was made available
by the company itself on Monday.
The beta version is available only for Windows but Google promises it's "hard at work" to create versions for Mac and Linux and are hoping feedback from their Windows users will help them create the best browser around.
In creating Chrome, Google credits Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox for inspiration as open source projects. The company definitely samples each, using WebKit to render web pages. Heise describes the difference between Google and others as thus: "Chrome appears to be a radical reworking of a modern browser's internal architecture, with each tabbed session in the browser running as its own process. Plugins are run as separate child processes to the tabbed sessions process. This decoupling, along with a more isolating security model which keeps web page executable content on a tight lead, is designed to give a more reliable web browser."
The biggest difference for the average web user may be the interface and use of the tabs (moved to the very top of the window), home page and address bar (underneath). Other features include thumbnails of your top nine used sites with your most common searches indicated and privacy features allow you to create "incognito" windows that never get logged into your computer. Chrome also samples reliable and helpful tools from Prism and will include Google's Gear project, making for easier use of applications. For a breakdown on what all you can expect from the new browser, check out Blogoscoped and MarketWatch.
Official Google blog
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