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Google Announces Chrome Web Browser

Google Announces Chrome Web Browser

by , 8:05 AM EDT, September 2nd, 2008

Internet search company Google introduced a public beta of its own WebKit-based Web browser, dubbed Google Chrome, on Monday. The announcement marks Google's entrance into the Web browser market, but the open source application is Windows-only for now with Mac OS X and Linux versions on the way.

Google's plan was to design a new Web browser from the ground up based on technologies on WebKit, just like Apple's Safari Web browser, and Mozilla's Firefox. The result is a browser that Google claims offers a more streamlined user experience for people that spend most of their working time in a Web browser.

Google Chrome will also sport performance enhancements compared to other browsers, including sandboxing for individual browser tabs so that if one tab crashes the rest of the tabs and the Web browser will continue to run. The browser will also include what Google called a "more powerful" JavaScript engine, V8.

The introduction of Google's Web browser could spell even more trouble for Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The Microsoft Web browser has been losing market share to Firefox and Safari for well over a year, and Google Chrome could eat into Internet Explorer's eroding dominance even more.

To help explain Google Chrome and to illustrate some of the technologies behind the Web browser, Google has also released its own Web-based comic book.

Google Chrome is free, and the public beta should be available for download some time on Tuesday in a Windows-compatible format. A Mac OS X version is in the works, but Google hasn't said when it will be released.

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