01 Sep

Google Chrome: the Google Browser

Google Chrome Logo

Google Chrome Logo

Google announced today that they will release their own browser tomorrow, code named Google Chrome. Beta version will be launched tomorrow morning only, initially available only for Windows.

[update].  Google Chrome beta is now live and can be downloaded here.

Google Chrome is open source and based on WebKit, which is the same engine used by Safari and Adobe AIR. This is really good news because just the thought of yet another browser with different JavaScript and CSS engines to test every site and web app is really unpleasant.

Why did Google re-invent the wheel?

Their story is that they want a better browser, and coming from Google, I have no doubt that it could be. Google Chrome features:

  • Open Source, based on WebKit, and includes Google Gears. For those of you not familiar with Gears, it’s a project that allows extending web apps and letting them interact naturally with the desktop, store data locally, and run JavaScript in the background to improve performance.
  • V8: JavaScript Virtual Machine. The browser includes an open source project JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8. I don’t know much about the project now, but by judging that Flash did with their VM, it can only be good.
  • The tabs will be on top of the address bar, not below. They will also be fully sandboxed, which means that all processed and memory will be managed separately for each tab. This immediately sounds as overhead or memory hog, but it totally makes sense. I usually have at least 50 open tabs and I have when I have to restart the entire browser because one of them crashed.
  • Address bar auto-complete: Google added auto-completion logic to the address bar and called it omnibox.
  • Homepage: a special homepage will feature a set of thumbnails, easy links, and searches that feature your most visited sites, recent bookmarks, and recently closed tabs.
  • New privacy mode: Google Chrome will allow setting a tab as anonymous or incognito, guarantying that nothing will get logged into the computer. Not to be confused with anonymous browsing using public anonymous proxy servers.

Why did Google re-invent the wheel: Another side of the coin?

We all know that Google supports the Mozilla foundation, so why would they launch their own browser? Well, why did they launch maps, analytics, gmail, it’s all about data. Google controls so much information, it’s scary.

Google is just the smartest company out there and follows a simple rule: information is money. Everyone knows that they make all their money is ads, and have like a thousand other services that do not make money; but the truth is that some of those services provide them insides to consumer information that allows them to better target their ads, and advertisers pay premium for better targeting. I blogged the other day about behavioral targeted advertising, and could it get any better than knowing your every move, link, click, time spent on a site, seconds you watch any video? Google already knows every search click, email, video you see, through analytics they know up and downstream clicks to most sites, and now they will truly have all the insides. Granted that your identity should still be private, but your actions and behavior is not.

Need to see it now? Check out all these screenshots.

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Comments (19)

Nadja
Sep 02,2008 at 09:50 am

At least you can check how much information about your 'action and behavior' gets send to Google, since it is open source...

Nadja
Sep 02,2008 at 04:50 am

At least you can check how much information about your 'action and behavior' gets send to Google, since it is open source...

Marcio
Sep 02,2008 at 06:52 pm

That was exactly what I was going to say. People already started making some conspiracy theories about google watching your behavior. PAY ATTENTION: It is OPEN SOURCE!

You should be more worried about IE

Marcio
Sep 02,2008 at 01:52 pm

That was exactly what I was going to say. People already started making some conspiracy theories about google watching your behavior. PAY ATTENTION: It is OPEN SOURCE!

You should be more worried about IE

Rob Gonda
Sep 02,2008 at 07:51 pm

@Nadja & Marcio, you're absolutely right, we can see what they send. But it's not a conspiracy, and in fact, Google doesn't even hide it. I installed it today and it prompted me if I want to send anonymous statistics to Google _to improve the product_. They've been getting data thru the Google Toolbar the same way... I'm not complaining or saying it's bad... raise making a point of one of the benefits for them. In fact, another benefit that just came to mind is as Firefox gains market share, they will have to pay them more to use Google as the default search engine .... Just trying to see it from all angles.

Cheers

Rob Gonda
Sep 02,2008 at 02:51 pm

@Nadja & Marcio, you're absolutely right, we can see what they send. But it's not a conspiracy, and in fact, Google doesn't even hide it. I installed it today and it prompted me if I want to send anonymous statistics to Google _to improve the product_. They've been getting data thru the Google Toolbar the same way... I'm not complaining or saying it's bad... raise making a point of one of the benefits for them. In fact, another benefit that just came to mind is as Firefox gains market share, they will have to pay them more to use Google as the default search engine .... Just trying to see it from all angles.

Cheers

Nacho Libre
Sep 03,2008 at 02:40 pm

Conspiracy theories be damned! check this out!! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/03/google_chrome_eula_sucks/

Nacho Libre
Sep 03,2008 at 09:40 am

Conspiracy theories be damned! check this out!! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/03/google_chrome_eula_sucks/

media boy
Sep 03,2008 at 08:06 pm

should be interesting to see if Chrome works more efficiently than FireFox and IE... if it's faster than Firefox, since isn't IE, then i'll use it

media boy
Sep 03,2008 at 03:06 pm

should be interesting to see if Chrome works more efficiently than FireFox and IE... if it's faster than Firefox, since isn't IE, then i'll use it

Rob Gonda
Sep 03,2008 at 08:42 pm

@Nacho Libre, great link.... wish I could find one I was reading earlier where someone from Google interviewed and admitted about all the data collection in a really sarcastic way ... If I find it I'll add it here.

@Media boy, I've been using it for a couple of days, as well as FF and IE, and I can say some things are faster, others aren't. Every time you open a new tab it takes a while, I guess it's because it sets up the sandbox environment for it.... However, for web applications it's blazing fast, check out this report or JavaScript benchmarks: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10030888-92.html

Rob Gonda
Sep 03,2008 at 03:42 pm

@Nacho Libre, great link.... wish I could find one I was reading earlier where someone from Google interviewed and admitted about all the data collection in a really sarcastic way ... If I find it I'll add it here.

@Media boy, I've been using it for a couple of days, as well as FF and IE, and I can say some things are faster, others aren't. Every time you open a new tab it takes a while, I guess it's because it sets up the sandbox environment for it.... However, for web applications it's blazing fast, check out this report or JavaScript benchmarks: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10030888-92.html

Rob Gonda
Sep 04,2008 at 12:27 am

@Nacho Libre, so check it out:
Google Chrome EULAs requires users to "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080903-google-on-chrome-eula-controversy-our-bad-well-change-it.html

Rob Gonda
Sep 03,2008 at 07:27 pm

@Nacho Libre, so check it out:
Google Chrome EULAs requires users to "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080903-google-on-chrome-eula-controversy-our-bad-well-change-it.html

Rob Gonda
Sep 04,2008 at 02:51 am

@Media boy, new article just in... TraceMonkey, a new JavaScript engine by Mozilla is faster than Chrome's V8: http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2008/09/03/new-firefox-javascript-engine-is-faster-than-chromes-v8

Rob Gonda
Sep 03,2008 at 09:51 pm

@Media boy, new article just in... TraceMonkey, a new JavaScript engine by Mozilla is faster than Chrome's V8: http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2008/09/03/new-firefox-javascript-engine-is-faster-than-chromes-v8

Rob Gonda
Sep 09,2008 at 03:09 am

German Federal Office for Information Security warned internet users of the new browser Chrome: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-09-07-n33.html

Rob Gonda
Sep 08,2008 at 10:09 pm

German Federal Office for Information Security warned internet users of the new browser Chrome: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-09-07-n33.html

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