Google is releasing an open source browser called Google Chrome which it promises will be small, fast and stable. Available for download shortly, the tabbed browser is explained in a 38 page comic by Scott McCloud. The comic explains that browsers are now very different from when first introduced - they are used for running web …
Wheres the El-Reg scepticism?
Surely this browser pipes your history to Googles mega-database?
Or in some way calculates your demographic and buying preferences in order to serve you ads direct from Googles Doubleclick network?
Whats in it for them?
"Available for download shortly -
out of beta sometime in the next millennium."
Of course, it remains to be seen just how much time Chrome will spend nattering with the mothership about your browsing habits, Pr0n Mode or not.
Is this not just Opera with a Google sticker on it?
"Chrome will include a task manager for each tab so you can see what resources are being used by individual pages."
As I spend most of my time on the web these days, this is useful and AFAIK no other browsers do this.
Finally somebody thought it's a good idea to have each tab as separate thread. With all those multicore processor it will work like a dream. Also it would be much harder to access one page from other (XSS) as communication paths can be more secure.
Just make it compatible with FF add-ons! ;)
Since this is google
do we need to sand box the application - so it can't take over the entire OS and put in betas we don't want or need and stop us removing them?
Firefox + shinier tabs. And multithreaded so Google's apps don't have to be programmed to worry about hogging the browser. And a task manager to kill them when they go wrong.
Anything I missed?
Still, it will be better than IE.
Of course, a dead sheep makes a better web browser than IE,..
Good Idea... or is it?
After reading the comic, it makes a lot of sense. However, i can't help feeling that this is another way of Google trying to monitor our web use. Sure they can see our search trends already, but if we use their browser will we be handing them our browsing habbits? The new tab feature that gives us our top visited sites and searches... is that secure on OUR machines only, or is Google able to see this too?
I'll still give it a go, but i'll be watching it like a hawk!
small, fast and stable
I was going to simply type that and say Firefox already does that - but actually this sounds like something much better. I hate it when one page is taking ages to load and Firefox freezes while it tries to load it, and I can't view the other tabs. Once again Google seem to have spotted something good and figured out how to do it better.
Being open source, we can also check that Google aren't using it to watch our every move. And, hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for Firefox to incorporate everything Chrome offers.
It all sounds good and hopefully it will be. Shows Google's typical thinking outside the box - let's not just release something out there with a few new features, let's start from scratch based around people's needs NOW as opposed to what might have been acceptable a few years ago.
The comic strip is a bit long but the idea of running tabs as separate processes sounds like a bloody good idea and something that should have been done a long time ago. (Although I read elsewhere that IE8 might do this aswell? Does anybody know?)
Scott McCloud FTW
He might not be able to spell his own name, but the man is a genius.
Even as a computer science grad, those process/thread relationship diagrams always had me stumped, but he can break it down and build it up in a logical, meaningful manner.
It almost stopped me from noticing that the only really new feature of chrome is the memory management model. Of course, that's a MASSIVE improvement in and of itself....
Chrome - flashy fiddling about with the appearance of an app without anything to do with the actual functionality
Call me a raging google fanboi, but..
This looks genuinely interesting. And it could already be rendering IE8 a bit obsolete.
Can only be good
The more competition IE gets, the better.
I'm keen to try this. If it's as good as they hype it up to be M$ is going to get a huge kick in the *ss :-)
That's a rotten name for a browser. What marketing genius came up with Chrome ? I think they should have called it Web Rover, then a whole world of cute dog icons would have been made available to the designers.
last time i checked open source actually meant source code availability. looks like google is delivering some opensource vaporware here...
move on, nothing to see here...
I saw the Google Chrome comic...
... and all I got was this lousy massive brain failure.
Yay and Boo
Yay, because this is the first browser to do something sensible about putting each tab in its own process, something I've been wishing for years. Even Firefox is guilty of grinding to a hault if one tab is struggling with a slow/poor site.
Boo, because it will take a large chunk away from Firefox's growing market share and dilute Opera's tiny slice even further. Both these browsers are excellent and we have a lot to thank them for. Chrome will unwittingly make IE appear to have a larger market lead as the Firefox & Opera users are the ones more likely to migrate to Chrome, not the mainstream IE users.
Only an attempt to help it's forthcoming mobile platform
The reason for Gogle doing this are the same as Apple releasing Safari to windown machines:
Both Apple & Google want to be dominant on the mobile platform, Apple with the iPhone, and Google with Android software platform. and the best way to do this is to have the best mobile browser
Now it's no good having the best mobile browser if web developers fail to take advantage of it's quirks and features, so to force developers to do this the browser needs market share, and to get market share the browser needs to be released on the windows desktop. Simple!
Another thing Google can do is to cry about Windows anti-competitive practices with Microsoft & Windows live services becoming ever more closely linked, especially with the release of IE8
What IO want to see is, does Google practice what it preaches, and will it include other search providers by default (not that I'll use them, but it will be interesting to see)
The main thing you missed is the Google name. If there were ever an "ie killer" this is it. Not because of any technology involved, but because of the name attached to it. Joe Public has no idea who Mozilla is, but knows Google as a trusted brand.
Oh, and it's all open source so any ET like phoning home would be easy to find, I'd imagine.
It's about time . . .
. . . they got their act together. They've been putting a lot of dosh towards Mozilla (possibly no FFox without Google?) and must have been thinking of their own browser for a while.
will they maintain the funding for Mozilla to keep a rival going or just let Moz find their own feet?.
Will it come without a Google toolbar?
Will it come with Ad Block to keep Google at bay?
Really, really Open Source?
Threads != processes
"The browser will be multi-threaded - so separate tabs will run as separate processes."
Google's illustrated explanation was intended to help journalists avoid making such embarrassing mistakes.
threads <> process
Actually each tab has it's own process, not it's own thread. To me, it seems the only real advantage over other browsers. Browsers more or less do the same nowadays, with FF haveing the advantage of many extensions. Read the comic, and don't see why I would change, though the multi-process thing could be a good idea for other browsers.
I might give this a go later today..
...with Wireshark running in the background, of course. Don't want them getting all funny with my personal info.
Mine's the one with the tin-foil hat in the pocket.
Wish I'd read this...
before I spent ages on that cheesy comic - seriously - the sad tab?!
I'll give it a try though =)
It seems I can't read their comic...
... cos it uses scripting.
Which I block for security purposes because most things can be done without it.
But not comics with supposedly useful info.
Which are really just a static collection of images which can be sequentially linked.
Or even not linked and just put on a single long page which I could scroll down.
Nice one google.
wow double post action
*looks at entry immediately above this one in the RSS list*
What about firefox?
Google are the financial backers behind Mozilla Firefox (via the inclusion of the Google search) so if we assume this gives them a controlling interest in that project, why the diversification in the portfolio?
Bingo! You got it! If anyone can pull mainstream users from IE, it's Google.
Imagine it - a little message on google's homepage - "Try our new internet experience!" or something like that. Bam! That's gonna erode a fairly significant proportion of IE users, at least a couple of percent.
Maybe they'll start bundling it with things like desktop search or toolbar for IE...
...was't expecting such a long comic!!
Have to love that they don't mention "we're only doing this so we can pile more advertising cash out of you" - but you can't really blame them I suppose.
Looks like an interesting bit of kit, though I'm sure it will have hackers drooling at the possibilities of breaking a tougher egg, that is stamped up as safe...
Divide and rule
It would have made more sense as an IE beater if Google had co-operated with Firefox rather than go into competition.
I see this firstly taking market share from Firefox (and Opera) as early adapters try it. The corporate market is owned by Microsoft, so unless it has an IE quirks mode (i.e. incorporates the same bugs) and the abililty to be controlled/tied down by corporate BOFHs, it won't make a lot of headway there.
A technology share with Mozilla could actually have made a difference, and maybe created a critical mass of "FireChrome" users.
Safari bois will switch too
I use Safari and only fire up the fox for the odd (for me) site that Safari borks on. I love the idea of tabs as separate processes so with one eye on where my history is going I will likely migrate. I hate the home page idea though, I get a new tab and navigate to the page without touching the mouse, so why would I want to get a new tab and then go to the mouse to click on the site? So long as I can turn it off I will be happy.
i presume this is going to be windoze only - at least initially? the only OS specific references in that [long] comic are to vista and windoze. i'm hoping for a mac version ASAP because FF3 has been a real disappointment to me.
as someone above alluded to, it's obvious that google chrome is another piece in the android jigsaw. and if it turns out to be as good as the comic suggests, then android is going to be a real competitor for iphone OSX [as long as they stick it on some decent hardware!]
[actually - if they're going to make google chrome a part of android, that implies there's a linux version in the works too]
From one monopolist to another...
Chrome is a bit of cheek because that's what the GUI part of Mozilla is/was called.
On many OS you can start multiple instances of a browser which run as separate processes. I can remember when Microsoft trumpeted this feature for one of their releaeses. Of course, back then RAM was reasonably expensive - as it still is for mobile devices. The presentation is beautiful but the guys are up their own arse. Not one thing is actually new.
Really looks to be copying Opera a great deal and giving the FF devs a kick in the nads: find yourself another sponsor double-quick. The aim is obviously about providing the best runtime for Google's ad-sponsored apps. Why should you want to use another browser when Gmail, Writely, etc. run best in our application. Plus ça change et tout ça
Oh, as eternal beta you'll have no right to complain when it gets compromised, crashes, etc. Great food for the lemmings.
Not sus at all.
Bet ou they can monitor your search history
google.com/chrome = Fake 404
Ho hum - when they get around to releasing it, it will be available at www.google.com/chrome
Try typing it in now and you'll get a very basic (but fake) 404 error. Quite unlike the usual Google 404 (e.g. www.google.com/random)...
In the light of Chrome's release, keep an eye on how Firefox evolves - if the Chrome code is released as promised, then given the fact Google funds FF, there'll probably be an expectation that some Chrome code will make it into FF. That is, a Firefox release, as opposed to Minefield. Whereas Chrome will probably remain in Beta until 2012 or beyond...
It'll be interesting to see how customisable Chrome is - e.g. will you be able to change Chrome's chrome?
As for add-ons, it's possible they'll use xpi, but of course, as with FF updates, developers will need to add the relevant comptability line - given Chrome's insistence on security I expect they'll ensure you can't disable the compatability checker.
Finally, as others have commented, it wouldn't surprise me if there's an option (enabled by default of course!) to report "anonymous" usage data back to the 'plex...
On linux, so got to wait a bit before I can try this - but does it pass the acid 3 test?!
Don't knock it 'till you've tried it
I say, give it a chance. Generally competition is a good thing and this could really make a difference. I also really like the way they have communicated the technical details in an interesting and informative manor - you don't see many tech companies doing this.
It's more like a Firefox and Opera killer. Those that were bothered enough to change their browser are more likely to change it again. Those that still use IE are very unlikely to change now.
The browser might be open source, but then again there might be sections of code, toolbars, or plugins which come with the browser that aren't. As a rule of thumb, if you want one company to know less about you then you use fewer products or services from them (e.g. mail from Yahoo, search from Google). This browser will in all likelihood not break this rule of thumb.
How long before an OS?
Googlebox? A lightweight internet machine with Linux, Google Chrome and then all the rest supplied via google apps?
All the while MS were claiming that Red hat was their threat and up pops google.
(I'm not a Google fanboy or anything more a kinda pro competition person.)
Looking forward to trying it
But also wondering when it will leave beta. Nothing from google ever seems to get past the beta stage.
I should not listen to complex stories on the radio before finishing the first cup of coffee. When I first heard this story, the comic book conflated with the name, I thought the new browser was named "Crumb", as in R.J.
Consider the possibilities ! Fritz the Cat instead of the damn paperclip ! Mr. Natural ! The taxi driver from Afghanistan ! (no, really, that was his original billing). Porn that is amusing and witty !
Nah, just a safari clone, using khtml. Multithreaded though.
To be fair to IE8...
IE8 also uses a separate process for each tab, and has already been released as a beta.
Chrome looks neat though - I look forward to giving it a go.
Out of luck here then - if Safari borks on a site, you can expect Chrome will as well, since it is the same rendering engine.
Better Google than Microsoft, no?
Oh brother what a choice for privacy: Microsoft or Google! However, I suppose that any browser offering additional privacy features is to be welcomed given that our web browser's record every link that we follow, every picture we biew, every site you visit and a list of the last 10 to 20 web sites to which you have been. Source: http://www.cogipas.com/web_email/ip_addressing.html. Scary stuff! I am more inclined to trust Google than Microsoft (so far anyway).
Yesterday they said tomorrow
Which would now be today, even in the States. So where is it?
Most of the errors I get aren't in the rendering, its the old click on link and get a 1x1 pixel instead of a page.