Monday, September 1, 2008

Google to tackle Microsoft browser

GOOGLE will today launch its own web browser called Google Chrome in another expansion by the search giant into the building blocks of the internet.

Google Chrome will take on the might of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which dominates the browser market with a 74 per cent share.
News of the beta launch of the product in 100 countries came with the leaking of a 28-page comic book by Google to a blog, Google Blogoscoped, which outlined the specifications and innovations in the new browser with a series of illustrations.
It said that Chrome would feature a new format for tabs, the ability to view web pages as thumbnails and better features on the address bar.
There have been rumours about a Google browser for years and reports suggested that Chrome has been in development for at least two years.
Google confirmed the launch in the blog and said: “We can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web. We realised that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.”
Initially it will be for Windows users, but versions for Mac and Linux will be available soon, the blog said.
The software is being written with Webkit, the open-source engine at the heart of Apple’s Safari and Google’s Android platforms. The browser is also getting a new Javascript virtual machine, V8, which is said to be better for complex and rich web applications. The move pitches Google into a straight fight with Microsoft. One report said that Google had become concerned that Internet Explorer 7 could make it easier for Microsoft to direct users to its own search service.
Until now Google has supported other browsers, notably the open-source Mozilla Firefox browser. Google and Mozilla last week renewed their agreement, due to expire in November, extending it until 2011.


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