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Google to Offer its Own Browser: Chrome

Google watchdog Phillipp Lessen has scanned and posted a printed comic he says he received in the mail from Google today describing the company’s forthcoming open source browser Chrome. The link to Chrome is currently a 404. Lessen’s slide show is loading very, very slow. We’ve got another copy of it that loads much faster here. Long rumored to be in the works, this appears to be the first formal acknowledgment that Google really is working on its own browser – and it looks very cool.

Will you drop Firefox and use Chrome instead? Take a look at what the Google browser will offer – we’re pretty interested in it.

Chrome is being framed as a browser for applications instead of just web pages. Here’s what Google thinks that should look like.

  • It’s built on Webkit, the browser framework used to power Safari and the iPhone.
  • It’s faster. Smarter implementation of Javascript rendering will make pages more responsive and let your browser do more than one thing at once.
  • Smarter memory management. A sophisticated approach to data storage across time and tabs will keep the browser in top shape.
  • Crash-free app browsing. Applications will be partitioned in the browser so if one crashes, it won’t crash your whole browser.
  • Tabs on the top. Instead of tabs being displayed below your address bar, inside the browser – they’ll ride on top of each browser window. We’ll see what this is like for the user, we do wonder.
  • Quick navigation. Your most frequently visited pages will be available in a point and click navigation, like Opera’s Quick Dial.
  • Gears integration. Google Gears will be integrated throughout the experience for offline use, local storage of information and all kinds of other magic that Gears-heads are working on.
  • Open source. The browser appears to be entirely open source, Google says it wants other companies to borrow from it just like it learned from them.

These are just a few of the new features and strategies you’ll see applied in Chrome. There’s no mention of when it will be available, but we’ll be watching closely. For now, check out Lessen’s post for more details and discussion. Here is that faster version of the slide show comic book.

Chrome looks pretty hot to us; it seems to include many state of the art details and several things that will push the envelope. Google, and millions of us, may love Firefox – but that’s no reason to stop innovating elsewhere.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: we’ve been all over this story for the past few days, so here is a summary of our coverage so far:

Video of Google Chrome Announcement

Chrome: Test it With Us Live (check out Sarah Perez’s screencast, with input from all the RWW team)

Does Google Have Rights to Everything You Send Through Chrome? (great discussion happening in the comments of this one)

Serious Security Flaw in Google Chrome (it’s not all good news, it seems)

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