The 9th Soul


Posted in internet news by Fated Blue on September 2, 2008



Browser Wars: Google Unleashes Chrome!

In its most aggressive attack on Microsoft to date, inside sources with knowledge of the Chrome project said that Google is preparing to unveil its brand new browser for download as early as TODAY to try and loosen Microsoft’s stranglehold on the most vital piece of navigating software for the internet.

The launch is supposedly today, but I have not seen it anywhere. I’d be surprised if Google launched this in such a mediocre way and not anything similar to how Firefox did the 3.0 launch. Let’s see what happens, but one thing is for sure, if they are truly launching this, it will be a total improvement of any (if not all) Firefox plug-in downsides as well as the Firefox browser design.

Google Blogoscoped

Google announced their browser Google Chrome to be available on Tuesday, but their download page and tour was already partly available at just now, as Uval in the forum noticed. While the download itself didn’t work when I tried, I was able to extract some screenshots, from the frontpage but also the YouTube videos. And while the product tour videos themselves seemed to require a special group membership at YouTube, the video still previews are public and you can paste the video identifier into a URL like this one to see more high quality stills.

The service’s logo.

Screenshots of Google Chrome from the service’s frontpage.

The auto-completion of the so-called “omnibox” address bar.

The homepage showing 9 thumbnailed pages to access, along with more pointers in the side-bar, to appear “[e]very time you open a new tab”, as Google says.

This screenshot shows Google Calendar and a dialog reading “Create shortcuts in the following locations”, listing Desktop, Start Menu and Quick Launch Bar.

Zooming in on the browser tabs.

The Google Chrome task manager, e.g. to monitor if certain sites cause memory problems.

A screen showing the “Google incognito” mode for allegedly more private browsing.

Another auto-completion example.

A star near the address input bar lets you bookmark a page, apparently.

A look into the settings menu.

Google in their tour says with Chrome “you see your download’s status at the bottom of your current window.”

On a related note, I asked Scott McCloud – creator of the comic book introducing Google Chrome – some questions. Scott now put up a mini-FAQ on his site. He says he’d been working on the comic off and on “from March through August.” On the question of who came up with the visualizations, he says there was some “rough whiteboard sketching during the interviews” but that most were his though. Asked about how many of these comics were printed, Scott says it was just a limited run, and that he didn’t sign any yet. He adds this project was “a big challenge” considering he had “never done such a thing before.”


AP Associated Press

Google takes aim at Microsoft with new Web browser

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. is releasing its own Web browser in a long-anticipated move aimed at countering the dominance of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and ensuring easy access to its market-leading search engine.

The Mountain View-based company took the unusual step of announcing its latest product on the Labor Day holiday after it prematurely sent out a comic book drawn up to herald the new browser’s arrival.

The free browser, called “Chrome,” is supposed to be available for downloading Tuesday in more than 100 countries for computers running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Google said it’s still working on versions compatible with Apple Inc.’s Mac computer and the Linux operating system.

Google’s browser is expected to hit the market a week after Microsoft’s unveiling of a test version of its latest browser update, Internet Explorer 8. The tweaks include more tools for Web surfers to cloak their online preferences, creating a shield that could make it more difficult for Google and other marketing networks to figure out which ads are most likely to appeal to which individuals.

Although Google is using a cartoonish approach to promote Chrome, the new browser underscores the gravity of Google’s rivalry with Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer is used by about 75 percent of Web surfers.

Google’s lead in the lucrative Internet search market is nearly as commanding, with its engine processing nearly two-thirds of the Web’s queries.

For the past few years, Google has been trying to take advantage of its search engine’s popularity to loosen Microsoft’s grip on how most people interact with personal computers.

The assault so far has been focused on a bundle of computer programs, including word processing and spreadsheet applications, that Google offers as an alternative to one of Microsoft’s biggest money makers, its Office suite of products.

Google has tried to make its alternatives more appealing and accessible by hosting them for free over Internet connections instead of requiring users to pay a licensing fee to install them on individual computers, as Microsoft typically does.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has tried to thwart Google by investing billions in the development of its own search engine and making an unsuccessful attempt to buy Yahoo Inc. for $47.5 billion.

The tensions between Microsoft and Google now seem likely to escalate with Google’s foray into Web browsing.

Until now, Google had been trying to undermine Internet Explorer by supporting Firefox, a Web browser developed by the open-source Mozilla Foundation. Bolstered by an advertising partnership with Google’s search engine, Firefox ranks as the second most popular browser, with a market share of more than 10 percent. Google recently extended its advertising alliance with Firefox through 2011.

Bearing the stamp of Google’s renowned brand, Chrome could be an even more formidable rival to Explorer.

Still, Google’s name is no guarantee of success. For instance, Google’s instant messaging service hasn’t made come close to catching up to the market-leading products made by Yahoo, Microsoft and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.

In a blog post Monday, Google touted Chrome as a more sophisticated Web browser better suited for displaying the dynamic and interactive content blossoming on the Web as people migrate from television, radio and newspapers.

“The Web gets better with more options and innovation,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, Google’s engineering director, wrote in the posting. “Google Chrome is another option, and we hope it contributes to making the Web even better.”

Microsoft brushed aside the threat in a statement Monday from Dean Hachamovitch, Internet Explorer’s general manager.

“The browser landscape is highly competitive, but people will choose Internet Explorer 8 for the way it puts the services they want right at their fingertips … and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online,” Hachamovitch said.

Even as it has backed Firefox, Google has openly fretted about the possible ramifications of Microsoft’s huge lead in Web browsing.

Google is worried that Microsoft could abuse its power by manipulating Internet Explorer’s default settings in a way that might diminish traffic to Google’s search engine, which serves as the hub of the largest online ad network.

In 2006, Google contacted the Justice Department to raise alarms about changes to Internet Explorer that Google believed made it more difficult to install search toolbars made by Microsoft’s rivals. Although regulators decided not to intervene, Microsoft subsequently modified the way Explorer handled the selection of search toolbars.


Writer’s note: I have used IE7, FF3, and Opera 9.5. I am a Google fan. If I find this browser MORE user friendly than opera, MORE compatible than firefox, and a whole lot better than ie, then I will say goodbye to these 3 😀

One Response

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  1. Konata Izumi said, on September 3, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    whoa thanks for informing this browser..

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