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Google Chrome, the Google Browser

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the fun-unfounded-rumor dept.

Google 807

Philipp Lenssen writes "Google announced their very own browser project called Google Chrome — an announcement in the form of a comic book drawn by Scott McCloud, no less. Google says Google Chrome will be open source, include a new JavaScript virtual machine, include the Google Gears add-on by default, and put the tabs above the address bar (not below), among other things. I've also uploaded Google's comic book with all the details (details given from Google's perspective, anyway... let's see how this holds up). While Google provided the URL www.google.com/chrome there's nothing up there yet."

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Very Interesting... (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832259)

I imagine the first question on everyone's mind will be, "Why do we need a new web browser?" To which I imagine the truthful answer is: "We don't. At least not for technical reasons."

I believe what Google is looking to accomplish is to trade on their brand name in an attempt to further dislodge Internet Explorer.

Remember when AOL purchased Netscape? AOL didn't care about the browser in the slightest. They wanted Netscape for the brand name. To the vast majority of users, Netscape was the Internet.

Google has since taken that place. Google is the Internet to many people. So much so that Google has felt compelled to to prevent the genericizing [independent.co.uk] of their mark.

In this particular case, however, the strength of their mark works to Google's advantage. They have already convinced millions of users to install their desktop software. If they can further convince millions of users to install and use their browser, they can cause enough of a disruption to finally remove IE's leadership in the browser market. Especially given the solid work already done by FireFox, Opera, and Safari. With only another 10% marketshare loss on the whole, even the most stubborn websites will be forced to support third party browsers. And once they support third party browser, it will be very little time before the technological superiority of the alternative browsers causes them to add special features not available for Internet Explorer users.

It will be Netscape vs. Internet Explorer all over again. Except that instead of two giants fighting it out, it will be Microsoft against everyone else. And when everyone else happens to be giants in their own right, Microsoft's prospects will start looking rather grim.

In effect, this move is a blow aimed squarly at Redmond. Not for the purposes of truth, justice, and the freedom of all mankind; as I'm sure many will imagine. Rather, for the purpose of hitting back at Microsoft for their attempts to leverage their monopoly in promoting MSN Search over Google. The only difference is that Google Search is a good product and it is entrenched. Internet Explorer hasn't been a good product since Microsoft stopped developing it nearly 8 years ago (piss-poor upgrades pretending to be standards-compliant not withstanding), and its entrenchments are slowly falling to competition.

Re:Very Interesting... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832335)

I believe what Google is looking to accomplish is to trade on their brand name in an attempt to further dislodge Internet Explorer.

Why not rebrand Mozilla? Or is that what they're doing?

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832517)

They're not building the whole thing, but it's a bit more than just a rebranding. They're using Webkit (Safari, Konqueror) rather than Gecko (Firefox), but adding a new Javascript engine and UI, and building in Google Gears.

Re:Very Interesting... (-1, Flamebait)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832713)

Other than it using Webkit rather than Gecko, it sounds like it pretty much will end up as Firefox with a few default extensions and a custom theme. Their interpretation of the awesome bar sounds extremely similar, at the very least.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832339)

To the vast majority of users, Netscape was the Internet.

Google has since taken that place. Google is the Internet to many people. So much so that Google has felt compelled to to prevent the genericizing [independent.co.uk] of their mark.

Well I'd better do some googling to find out about that.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832349)

I imagine the first question on everyone's mind will be, "Why do we need a new web browser?" To which I imagine the truthful answer is: "We don't. At least not for technical reasons."

To take advantage of the forefront in "tabs at the top" technology, of course. I am personally very excited that science has progressed to the point where we can now have tabs above the address bar.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Insightful)

ip_vjl (410654) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832487)

I know you're being snarky, but if you actually think about it, the address bar really *does* belong under the tab bar.

The address is a property of the current page. Placing it above the tabs puts it into the same space as the persistent elements like the file/edit menus. Those are application-wide. Below the tabs puts it into the same space as the page content, which makes sense as it isn't an application-wide property, but is directly related to the selected tab.

I'd never thought about it before, and can't say I'm bothered with the current setup (address above the tabs) but there is a sense to it.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832661)

the address bar really *does* belong under the tab bar

Not that I care, but maybe the "user" perceives the content of tabs & current page as more related while not being aware of the address of the current page at all.

CC.

Re:Very Interesting... (4, Informative)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832603)

You've never used Opera have you?

Default look is tabs (well, more like mini windows unlike binder tabs) over the adress bar. =/

Re:Very Interesting... (4, Interesting)

cca93014 (466820) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832419)

To the vast majority of users, Netscape was the Internet.

It's true. My dad refers to the *entire internet* as Google. Sigh.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

ciej (868027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832851)

Please tell me you're kidding.

Re:Very Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832511)

Depends. Does the google browser have the awesome bar? If not, I'll look strongly at it when the first critical patch comes out for Firefox that isn't supported in 2.x.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832781)

It does, or something very similar to it. Or at least that's how I interpreted the drawings.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832515)

Actually the question on my mind is what's going to happen to Mozilla? As I remember, they get most of their backing from Google generously paying for the traffic they get from Mozilla's search plugin. If Google cancels that deal (and they very well might, if they have a competing browser), Mozilla will lose most of its cash-flow very suddenly.

So with fierce competition from webkit and Opera and a lot less money all of a sudden, and a browser from Google that does anything just as well as FF does it and a few things better, Mozilla may be left struggling. This may not be such a terrible thing, Mozilla grew from nothing, it could be an important lesson to go back there, but they may not survive going from being one of the best funded web browsers to one of the worst funded web browsers in just a few months.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Informative)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832655)

Google doesn't pay Mozilla because they like firefox. They pay because Mozilla drives millions of hits to Google's search engine. As long as firefox is doing that, Google will pay (although, I'm sure they will only freely advertise their own browser now).

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832683)

Actually the question on my mind is what's going to happen to Mozilla?

This news comes shortly after the renewal of the Mozilla contract. I would speculate that the timing is not accidental. Releasing Google Chrome after the contract renewal helps belay fears that Google will cancel the contract. (And thus prevents Mozilla from making alternative plans.)

Google wants to target Microsoft, not FireFox. As such, there is nothing wrong with their current deal. Browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Opera, and Safari can co-exist with each other. Just as they do today. (FireFox and Opera both have deals with Google. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Safari also has the same deal.) The key is for these browsers to continue to nip away at the massive marketshare currently held by Microsoft.

Such a large marketshare easily leaves room for four, five, six, or many more browsers! And more competition means that the technology will only improve rather than stagnate. Which is a very important requirement when your business relies on advanced browser technology.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832791)

Such a large marketshare easily leaves room for four, five, six, or many more browsers!

Bad thing is that 'markets' tend to be divided according to some power law. Would be interesting to know about an exception (seriously so & too lazy to look for myself).

CC.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832877)

That's certainly true to a point; however, rigging up a monetized Google Custom Search is all of five minutes work. The behavior to a search at google.com is a tiny bit different (you can also weight the results with keywords; I find this quite helpful for my development work), but the biggest change for them would be that they'd have to change the default home page from google.com/mozillasearch to mozilla.com/googlesearch, and the search box accordingly.

Do know that the Google search isn't anything near their only source of funding. The Amazon search in that top-right search box is an Amazon Affiliate search - tag=mozilla-20 gets added into your Amazon search URL, and they get a minimum of 4% of the purchase price provided you went through their affiliate link last (I don't see why people gripe about this kind of thing so often, it only costs Amazon money, not the purchaser). With the volume that probably does, it's more like 6-8% on most items.

I'm sure that there are plenty of other sources of income for Mozilla, though I'd expect those are the biggest two. And both are structured in such a way that they'd have to be personally blocked from using the affiliate program (unlikely, especially given the bad press), or the program itself would have to be shut down entirely (even more unlikely, as half the internet gets its funding from these things).

Re:Very Interesting... (1, Interesting)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832541)

The main question is: will they have their own engine or use WebKit/KHTML or Gecko? I believe they will use WebKit since they already use it in Android. So this Google Chrome might only be a different interface and a new JavaScript interpreter, plus the Google Brand (and all the monitoring that goes with it).

Using WebKit or a homebrew engine are both cool solutions for the Internet community: if they use WebKit, they become a more active contributor and get Safari and Konqueror to improve. If they use their own engine (unlikely), then we will see the extent of their commitment to standard compliance, and more alternatives can only be a good thing.

The second question is: will Google Chrome run natively under GNU/Linux, and if so, using which GUI toolkit? Well, I doubt it very much it will at all, and since I'm not keen on being monitored even more by Google, I would certainly not use it...

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832651)

TFA specified WebKit.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832755)

Yep my mistake, I read TFA but missed that somehow.

Re:Very Interesting... (4, Insightful)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832723)

Reading the comic, it looks like their plan is to use the browser as a thin-client platform for remote desktop applications: that is, what the project Mozilla Prisms tries to achieve with XUL and Microsoft wants to do with XAML. The difference is that Google already has a lot applications to offer (YouTube, Gmail, Google Office suite, etc). Looks like being cross-platform is quite important for these. It will surely be interesting :).

I guess they will make it seamless to the point you can click an icon and get a remote application launched (without having to open the browser at any time). As for having a beta version released soon, I really doubt Google would release the comic and show their plans to its competitors (mainly Microsoft) if they hadn't something to show very soon.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832763)

plus the Google Brand (and all the monitoring that goes with it

TFA:

Chrome has a privacy mode; Google says you can create an âoeincognitoâ window âoeand nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged on your computer.â The latest version of Internet Explorer calls this InPrivate. Googleâ(TM)s use-case for when you might want to use the âoeincognitoâ feature is e.g. to keep a surprise gift a secret. As far as Microsoftâ(TM)s InPrivate mode is concerned, people also speculated it was a âoeporn mode.â

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832555)

From the article:

One aim of V8 was to speed up JavaScript performance in the browser, as it's such an important component on the web today.

This is probably one of the main reasons they've done it. They've been trying to push applications on the web, and the speed hasn't been completely impressive. With faster JavaScript execution, their products are much more viable.

Re:Very Interesting... (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832737)

They've been trying to push applications on the web, and the speed hasn't been completely impressive.

Safari, FireFox, and Opera (in that order) have been showing marked improvements in Javascript performance. To the point where Javascript performance is a major point of competition. Microsoft's JScript engine is currently the slowest Javascript engine on the browser market. (As I can personally attest after running sophisticated sorting algorithms through it.) So the problem still comes back to Internet Explorer.

Mod parent up :) (0, Offtopic)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832779)

Bingo.

Re:Very Interesting... (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832827)

I believe what Google is looking to accomplish is to trade on their brand name in an attempt to further dislodge Internet Explorer.

I think that's part of it, but given they're developing a new Javascript engine and including Gears, I think they also want to push Gears as the next client-side platform. They're trying to compete with Silverlight and Flash as well as boosting their brand. Ecmascript (Javascript) 4.0 seems to be dead in the water, so Gears looks like the best way to get AJAX/DHTML beyond the limits imposed by the lack of threads in 3.0. Web UIs are already becoming slow as the client tries to do more. Gears lets you have a thread for UI and one for processing, or at least a usable approximation of that, so you can actually do stuff that takes more than fraction of a second and still have a responsive UI.

Sigh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832261)

Google was more productive when they underpromised and overdelivered. That's what gave us GMail, Google Maps, and the search engine itself.

With Android, municipal wi-fi, and so much else, they seem to have taken a page out of Microsoft's playbook.

Google already released their browser (-1, Troll)

saibot834 (1061528) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832279)

It's simply called Google Browser [blogspot.com] (and it was released on April, 1st, 2006)

Re:Google already released their browser (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832345)

Note: This post was written for the April Fools' Day, so there's no Google Browser. At least not yet.

Difference is, of course, that today is not April fools day

Re:Google already released their browser (3, Funny)

santiam (1279644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832405)

Yeah, but it's September fools day, right?

Ha! (4, Informative)

Warll (1211492) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832307)

Found the comic link: http://blogoscoped.com/google-chrome/ [blogoscoped.com]

Re:Ha! (1)

A.K.A_Magnet (860822) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832351)

The server was already running slow and you decided to Slashdot it? Brilliant :).

Next time how about you use Coral Cache or something similar instead...

Re:Ha! (1)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832461)

It already seems bogged down so try http://blogoscoped.com.nyud.net/google-chrome/ [nyud.net]

Re:Ha! (1)

Warll (1211492) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832497)

Yeah I just posted that a minute before you, sadly though now all it's mirroring is the page minus comic =(

404?!?!? (-1, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832365)

Are you kidding?? Did we just Slashdot Google? If not then why does it read "Not Found Error 404" on http://www.google.com/chrome [google.com] ?

By the way, if we actually did Slashdot Google, how long do we have before we see the knights of the Apocalypse pop up?

Re:404?!?!? (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832411)

Go ahead and read the last line of the summary.

False alarm. Strap the oat bags back on the horses, fellas.

Re:404?!?!? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832421)

Oh crap, that's what happens when you get distracted before reaching the end of TFS.

Re:404?!?!? (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832481)

Oh crap, that's what happens when you get distracted before reaching the end of TFS.

Can't stay on task long enough to read a Slashdot summary ? Better up your Ritalin dose.

Re:404?!?!? (2, Insightful)

wanderingknight (1103573) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832445)

Please, at the very least RTFS.

Re:404?!?!? (5, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832455)

I believe you're confused as to what "404 Not Found" means. It means the page you're looking for isn't there, not that the server is overloaded or can't handle the request. It's not slashdotted.

However, this is not Google's normal 404 page. They've definitely configured www.google.com/chrome differently than the rest of the site, so they're obviously planning to put something there.

Re:404?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832823)

Compare your link to http://www.google.com/chrome1
It's obvious that they plan on putting something at your link because they would have to specifically configure different 404 pages.

IBM also announced a new browser! (4, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832397)

it's called unsubstantiated and is located here: www.ibm.com/unsubstantiated

Dunno why the page appears to be down though?

It's the homepage (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832407)

These days, there isn't much to differentiate between browsers as far as end-users are concerned. A "smart homepage" is a very effective way of capturing a user's interest, providing significant convenience, and making it less likely for them to switch away. Opera have started down this road with their speed dial feature, but Google seem to be taking it a big step further. Google have tried this once before, with iGoogle [google.com] , but building it into the browser means they can incorporate things like surfing history and bookmarks to determine which websites are most important to a user without needing manual configuration in the same way an online homepage would.

It's the data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832865)

"These days, there isn't much to differentiate between browsers as far as end-users are concerned."

Oh I don't know. If you've ever been to the maptube site or used Google Earth? I can see how browsers could specialize, like say a GIS browser integrating various kinds of data. Right now location is coming back to a locationless medium.

Webkit (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832409)

Going with Webkit is an interesting choice. It seems like there are a lot of minor browsers using it rather than Gecko these days. Even Gnome's Epiphany has switched, I do believe.

Really? i'm starting to like it more and more. (-1, Offtopic)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832479)

Hope there's a mac version.

i'm very big on the kiss principle.

right now I use safari, but since about 1.5 years ago the browser has also drifted toward bloat.

If they include a separate stop and reload icon, both of which work at all times rather than "after the page has already loaded", they have me as a user.

Re:Webkit (3, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832493)

Going with Webkit is an interesting choice. It seems like there are a lot of minor browsers using it rather than Gecko these days.

Apple chose [kde.org] KHTML as the foundation of WebKit for the size and quality of the codebase compared with Gecko, despite having Gecko experts working on the project. It makes sense that others would choose WebKit for the same reasons.

In soviet russia (0)

CHJacobsen (1183809) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832433)

Google Chrome browses you!

And the pony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832459)

Don't forget the pony!

Now they can monitor everything you do easier (4, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832469)

Now they can monitor everything you do easier...

Google is a marketing company, and in the past has used nefarious ad tracking to even Firefox searches reporting information to the Google servers.

Now they want a browser? Why? What reason would they need for a new browser?

So instead of putting full support behind a 'generic' Firefox, they want to enter the market so they can gather even more information from the user.

Nice... Geesh

Sadly they will get some of the Dell and other bundling deals, because they can afford to pay these companies to put this browser on machines, and most users won't know what is going on behind, even if the tech community finds Google doing the most nefarious things possible with the browser.

This type of concern makes the IE8 privacy mode and blocking sites from tracking users the 'non-evil' choice.

What was Google's ad hoc motto again, and was it just words after all?

Re:Now they can monitor everything you do easier (3, Insightful)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832595)

Competition is a good thing. Google can push to improve the features they'd like to improve in this browser; if it's better than firefox and IE, it'll push those to improve as well. It benefits nobody to become complacent. Moreover, by making KHTML/Webkit an even more important rendering engine, it will become less possible to ignore web standards and code to the browsers that happen to be out there. Since it's going to be open source, I don't think there's anything to worry about here, really.

Re:Now they can monitor everything you do easier (5, Insightful)

MrCoke (445461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832663)

It's open source. I'm sure a project of this magnitude will get lots of looking eyes. Good resource pool for Google to spot talent too.

Opera, Safari, Chrome? (1)

earthsoft (1355385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832473)

We do have a lot of great choices out there as far as browsers are concerned, it will be interesting to see if Google's browser really brings anything new to the table. Opera and Safari (and many others) have really failed to gain market penetration. Firefox has really been the only browser to pose a significant threat to IE. Should be interesting to see what they come up with.

google's relationship with mozilla? (4, Interesting)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832477)

I wonder how this will affect Google's relationship with the Mozilla foundation? IIRC, Google is one of Mozilla's primary sources of funding, as they pay for the rights to be the default search engine on Firefox.

Re:google's relationship with mozilla? (2, Insightful)

Light303 (1335283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832609)

since both are open source, i dont see a problem there?

Why shouldn't Firefox also use this "fast and improved" Javascript engine, if it proves to be superior?

Also Firefox already has an established userbase which google certainly is not going to ignore.

Above that ... i dont see Chrome capturing too many Firefox users no matter how good it is sinice it lacks the supply of addons that make Firefox so great.

Re:google's relationship with mozilla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832613)

They also employ the lead FF developer. Maybe they decided Mozilla are getting too much money from them and realized its cheaper to build their own than hand over tens of millions each year.

Re:google's relationship with mozilla? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832673)

It shouldn't effect their relationship with the Mozilla Foundation at all.

It is Microsoft, not Mozilla who want a monopoly in the browser market. Mozilla want choice, and they have their own offering.

From that standpoint its just fine if Google do this thing. After all, if its open sourced, Mozilla can take what they like from it, even if its just design decisions.

Personally I'm quite happy with Firefox, so a new browser from Google wouldn't effect me. Its all about consumer choice, and more is beter.

Google Stock Sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832505)

And so would any ad-infested browser they put out. The company is smoke and mirrors and has never done anything remotely innovative. Browser rumors are merely a pathetic attempt to boost stock. Get out while you can.

uhhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832513)

...since when did they rename Chrome to Error 404?

Not the search again (-1, Troll)

lucm (889690) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832533)

Most of the features are already available in existing browsers (or plugins for Firefox). Speed dial? Come on, it's so 2006.

What I fear is that Google will bring in this browser the lousy "don't sort it, search it" strategy that is so annoying in GMail, and that would become a standard feature in other browsers. What will they mess up? No folders for bookmarks? Random order for tabs so we must search to find a specific one?

They *removed* the concept of folders in their mail client, while adding nothing (we could already do search in other mail clients). Even tags exist in other mail client, often with much more power (like Thunderbird).

I've had it with Google search.

I just uncovered some hidden subtitles (5, Funny)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832539)

  • Google Chrome, Google's Browser
    Just when you thought Google wasn't going to get any cooler, we try desperately to prove you wrong.
  • Google Chrome, Google's Browser
    Don't worry, it won't be out of Beta until IE 10.
  • Google Chrome, Google's Browser
    Now with Omni Bar, the omniscient Awesome Bar
  • Google Chrome, Google's Browser
    Just when you thought data mining couldn't get any closer to home

OK, in all seriousness I think it's nice to see another Webkit based browser around. I'm personally waiting to see the Epiphany team's Webkit based browser. Hopefully, Google's Chrome project will spur some innovations that the Firefox/Safari/Opera/IE competition has failed to supply. Maybe the JS engine will prove it's worth as well, speedups in this area are always nice.

Re:I just uncovered some hidden subtitles (1)

erikharrison (633719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832871)

If you're looking for a *nix, lightweight, WebKit based browser, may I suggest Midori?

http://software.twotoasts.de/ [twotoasts.de]

But We Already Have FireFox (0)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832563)

Yes, why indeed do we need a new browser when open-source, free, up to date, and well written FireFox already exists? I don't want to go back to the days of a badly fragmented browser market where you had a dozen alternatives, and nothing ran the same on all of them.

Re:But We Already Have FireFox (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832645)

This is how IE came into existence. It was a hair pulling experience to support multiple browsers or you could write to only one that came with Windows and had over a %70 marketshare.

If all teh browsers followed standards we would not have this problem. After all any text editor today can read ascii text files. I guess html is a little different.

"tabs above the address bar (not below)" (2, Interesting)

steeleye_brad (638310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832573)

So uh, what's special about "tabs above the address bar (not below)"? I happen prefer my tabs on the bottom, and Opera provides an option for that. Come to think of it, I believe the default in Opera is for the tab bar to be placed above the address bar. I'm certain Firefox's tab bar placement can be changed, as well (through plugins or not).

It seems like a very odd feature to point out...javascript VM, open source, and TABS ON TOP!! Huh?

Re:"tabs above the address bar (not below)" (1)

Incredible Elmo (86263) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832795)

It seems like a very odd feature to point out...javascript VM, open source, and TABS ON TOP!! Huh?

Since it's called "specialized tabs" or something, maybe you can change other aspects, like the buttons, button layout etc. per tab? I dunno, I'm just guessing here...

Re:"tabs above the address bar (not below)" (2, Insightful)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832907)

In the actual comic, it was sort of mentioned in passing. The real big deal is isolating tabs at the process level.

why???? (0, Flamebait)

tekman94 (1289286) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832577)

Why do we need one more browser out there. There are already like 50 of them. Not only that, but Google is becoming what Microsoft was in the 90's and that's just scary.

Mozilla? (3, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832605)

What does this mean for Mozilla, which currently gets most of its financial support from Google? If Google has their own browser which competes against Firefox, will they be inclined to reduce their support of Firefox?

If not, it means Google will be paying for two competitors to Internet Explorer. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft complains about unfair competition.

In any event, if Google's aim is to further drive people away from IE, they'll have to spend some cash on advertising. Their target is people who are already familiar with Google's brand name, but believe the blue "e" is "how you get to Google." Some of these people launch IE and type "www.google.com" into the address bar every time they want to search for something, because their home page is set to MSN and they are unaware that it can be changed (or that other sites can be bookmarked), let alone know how to do so.

Re:Mozilla? (2, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832775)

If Google stop paying Mozilla for searches sent their way, Mozilla will change Firefox's default search engine to someone who is willing to pay for the privilege. Google don't pay Mozilla out of the goodness of their heart. They get a tangible benefit from searches sent to them.

Re:Mozilla? (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832859)

If not, it means Google will be paying for two competitors to Internet Explorer. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft complains about unfair competition.

Yes, but Google isn't ostensibly paying Mozilla just to fund Firefox as a competitor to IE. They are paying for the Google search box, driving lots of hits from Firefox users to Google. Sure, we all know that Firefox would have the Google search box regardless of whether Google paid them or not, since it's what most users want, and we know that Google in reality is giving money to Mozilla in order to keep it a strong and viable competitor to IE, but they do have the cover of a legitimate business transaction of services rendered. Microsoft will complain regardless.

Re:Mozilla? (1)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832873)

Google will be paying for two competitors to Internet Explorer. I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft complains about unfair competition.

What's wrong with hedging your bets? If Google is actually trying to compete with MS's browser (doubtful), it would be short-sighted to only invest in one alternative. If Google is trying to compete with MS's search and ad serving (likely), they now have the ability to fragment their market, which, in this case, probably means a larger over-all market for Google. They now have their fingers in two pretty different browsers, so folks who may have "not liked" Firefox have yet another alternative to IE.

MS may well complain about "unfair competition", but over the last 5 years they seem to have realized that they are quite capable of creating a decent browser, and it's in their interest to follow that path, rather than legal/pr/fud they historically have followed.

Great (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832615)

Another browser that will erode firefox's marketshare and convince more webmasters to write IE only websites. Safari was bad enough but this will make it look like IE is gaining marketshare as firefox drops.

Re:Great (1)

bledri (1283728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832861)

Actually, I think this will have a positive effect. It may cut into Firefox's market share, but it will also likely cut into IE's market share. Also, rumor has it will be based on WebKit, the same under-pinnings as Safari (which just passed Acid3). Both Firefox and WebKit are actually striving for WC3 compliance, so the net result should be pressure to support non-IE browsers.

Finally fixing the address bar vs tab issue! (0, Redundant)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832619)

put the tabs above the address bar (not below)

That's a really obvious UI clarification, and shockingly overdue. I wonder why it has taken so long for people to start doing that.

Fine line between clever and stupid (2, Insightful)

Antibozo (410516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832623)

and put the tabs above the address bar (not below)

That's a clear sign something's broken at Google. Tabs belong on the left or right edge so that once you have a number of them you can still allocate reasonable space to their title bars. Tree Style Tab [mozilla.org] and Vertigo [mozilla.org] are your friends. I have 40+ tabs open in the window I'm writing this in, and I can navigate through all of them easily. I wouldn't be able to if my tab bar were on the top of the window.

Android (0, Redundant)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832643)

Considering that details are so scarce, perhaps this is simply a component of Android?

Either that, or it's intended to be a proof of concept, rather than something to be used by end-users.

It simply doesn't make sense for Google to want to compete with Mozilla.

At the very least, it's almost certain to have KHTML/WebKit or Gecko on the backend. It's a *lot* of work to make a new browser from scratch.

google browser (0, Troll)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832653)

now with extra spyware!

Google OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832659)

next move, an OS?

Re:Google OS (3, Insightful)

dr_doogie01 (188072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832787)

Having a read of the section around multi-threading / multi-processes it looks like this is the Google OS.

In the same way that widgets on the desktop have become common place, google gear widgets would replace these...and eventually larger pieces of software.

Google Spyware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832665)

expect to see another one of their products in the spyware or PUPS category

Uh, Memory Leaks (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832689)

Google talks about multi-process threading and how a browser bug will only kill its tab - and that you'll never get rid of all the bugs.

One other thing you never seem to get rid of are all the Memory Leaks. And if you have multiple independent processes running now, does this mean that Google Chrome will have (memory leaks) * (# of tabs) = (much bigger memory leaks overall)?

Tabs above the address bar? (1, Flamebait)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832701)

That's what Opera does, and it drives me nuts. It's like going back to MDI.

If that's not optional, it's not even worth bothering looking at.

Excellent - I can't wait! (5, Funny)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832719)

I don't think Google has enough of my personal information, so this will be just wonderful.

Not their standard 404 (2, Interesting)

ItsIllak (95786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832735)

For what it's worth, the 404 error page being served on http://www.google.com/chrome [google.com] is not their standard one - their standard one is to search for the whole url from the looks of things?

What would really impress me... (4, Funny)

lucm (889690) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832739)

would be an *online browser*. Like Google docs. Imagine just how great it would be not to need a browser to go online. History, cookies, bookmarks, all stored on Google servers. Plus it would be incredibly fast since the internet is already on Google servers!

Also that would be very convenient for Google, they could access our private information locally on their servers, no need to "call home". Hell they could even check with our e-bank statements to see how much money we can spend so they could offer really well-targeted ads.

That would be huge. All they need for me to sign up is to throw in some features involving blogs, mashups and Spacebook.

Ex-Firefox developers (5, Interesting)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832797)

Did anyone else notice the number of current or former Firefox developers name-checked in that comic? Ben Goodger was the Firefox project lead until recently. The most significant part of this news may be that Google is pulling people off Firefox development (assuming they were contributing to Firefox while working there) and getting them to write a new browser. Still, Firefox is working pretty well and their financial future is secure for the next few years - thanks to wads of cash from Google - so we need not be too worried.

Apart from that, my verdict is 'show us the code'. Announcements of future plans and vapourware are not really interesting, even when it's Google.

Let me say "no thanks" (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832821)

I have gradually become disenchanted with Google. They were exciting at first but in the end, they are yet another advertisement space marketer. They won't offer up a browser that would allow ad blocking and I doubt they will be able to resist inserting ads on a page that doesn't belong there. But since it is to be open sourced, perhaps some good components can be developed that may appear later in Firefox. But generally speaking? No thanks... I know what happens when marketing companies offer things to the public... Google is still probably the least evil, but still... their money comes from advertisers and it's hard to imagine them being more interested in creating a browser that *I* would want over that of their customers. (I know I wouldn't)

Another thing I anticipate is their creating a browser that supports some non-generic protocols and applications and while I fully expect it to be implemented across all platforms equally and all that, I just can't imagine much good from this. I hope I'm wrong.

Google Chrome's logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832825)

Is it just me or does it really look like a revamped Poke Ball?

If I understand the Comic Correctly (0, Flamebait)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832831)

It's tabbed browsing that's been causing memory leak all this time.

That's it, I'm going back to IE6 until Chrome comes out.

This will be interesting to watch (2, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832841)

I've always liked Webkit, but am not as big a fan of Safari since it doesn't have the extensibility and flexibility of Firefox - so I'm going to follow this project closely. There may be some side stories to keep an eye on:

- What will this do to Firefox? If Google Chrome is successful, I suspect it'll be at Firefox's expense rather than IE - at least in the near term.

- What will this mean for Google's add-ons for other browsers? They talk specifically about the "Gears" developers' dissatisfaction with the way current browsers work as a primary motivator for this project. So does this mean Google's tools on browsers other than Chrome are going to become unwanted step-children? That's could hurt the other browsers (if Chrome is popular), but it could also turn around and bite Google.

- What about the Mac (and Linux)? This is important to me, anyway. Google's Mac support is stellar in some areas and poor in others. Will Chrome's development on platforms other than Windows stay apace of its progress on Windows? Maybe the comic answers this, but I haven't managed to get all the way through it yet. I'm on page 10 and *still* there's no mention of any villian.

Will _Google_ ever allow Adblock??? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24832855)

I don't think so ;)

A process per tab? (1)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832895)

Well, I for one can't wait to be Rick-Roll-fork-bombed. But in all seriousness, giving each tab (each Javascript instance as well?) it's own process is a nice idea in theory, but has a bunch of problems in practice. Extra resources, longer start up time, slower synchronization primitives, having to use slow IPC and many other problems. Of course, they could be using the term "process" very liberally here (they mention having their own task manager), but they do talk about separate address spaces. A thread pool with some sort of separately maintained "heaps" for virtual processes that can be recycled seem like a better way to go.

Is this going to be a portable browser? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832897)

Is this going to be a portable browser that can operate under Gnome, KDE, and other environments ... unlike Firefox that becomes crippled (for example, it cannot figure out many data formats) when Gnome isn't present/active?

Reverse Slashdot effect? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#24832903)

So instead of making a site disappear, will Slashdot make this site appear?
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