AFTER 2 YEARS IN DEVELOPMENT GOOGLE UNVEILS NEW WEB BROWSER: CHROME
August 22, 2008
(SILICON VALLEY) -- After two years and thousands of employee hours invested in building it from the ground up, Google – the web’s premiere search engine company – released its long awaited new web browser today in beta test form.
Screen shot: Google's new web browser Chrome.
The browser, which offers features that make it a "modern platform for Web pages and applications" that can run faster and be more responsive according to Google, is called Chrome and was launched in more than 100 countries.
It is intended to compete with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla's Firefox and the Open SSL Project’s fast and light Opera browser to get en edge in shaping not only what consumers do on the Internet but also how they get there.
For now, the Chrome browser only works with the Windows XP and Windows VISTA operating systems but Google said it's working on versions compatible with Apple's Mac and the Linux operating system.
Google Chrome is offered as a free download and is also an open-source product, meaning anyone can modify the software code to add features that make the browser more functional for its intended use.
What remains to be seen is how Chrome’s release may impact the future of the popular free browser Firefox. Mozilla, the nonprofit organization that runs Firefox, has been the beneficiary of engineering help and money from Google. However just last week, Google and Mozilla extended their partnership through 2011.
A Google business strategy of late has been to leverage its search engine's popularity in order to loosen Microsoft's grip on how consumers interact with personal computers.
The most visible tactic of the strategy up until now has been distributing a bundle of computer programs, including word processing and spreadsheet applications, that Google hopes will be an alternative to Microsoft's popular Office suite.
Google wants those to gain in popularity among computer users by hosting them for free over Internet connections instead of requiring users to pay a hefty licensing fee to install them on individual computers.
It is a strategy that Microsoft has been trying to thwart by investing Billions of dollars in developing its own search engine as well as making a much publicized and unsuccessful attempt to buy Yahoo.
Chrome offers phishing and malware protection for users as well as a feature that clears all browsing and download history from the browser as well empties the browser’s cache and deletes cookies.
There are some people in the tech community here in the Sky Valley and around te world who remain suspicious of Google’s efforts with the new browser. Suspicions abound that Google will somehow track users in ways they are not tracked now or somehow give their own search engine an unfair advantage over competing search engines.
In order to take a closer look at those claims and to derail any unfounded tech paranoia, blogger John Cutts has put up a special page on his blog (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/) called “Preventing Paranoia: when does Google Chrome talk to Google.com.”
After examining Chrome and talking with members of its development team Cutts says he’s satisfied – particularly since the code Google used to create the browser is open source and not Google proprietary code – that the browser is benign and does what its advertised to do.
Interested computer users can download Chrome for free here: http://www.google.com/chrome