back to article The Google-isation of all the net's access points

Google is creating its own open source Chrome browser and so spreading its influence over access points to its core search, mail, docs, photo-sharing and other services. An early - maybe too early - release of a (no really) comic book-style description of Chrome can be found here. The giant, brimming with optimism, megadollars …


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  1. sabroni Silver badge

    Over engineered

    That comic strip, which is just a series of pages with a graphic on each, won't work without javascript enabled. If google have to over-engineer a simple thing like that I'm not keen on trusting them with something more involved....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Called it Chrome? Didn't someone (hello Bill) use that name already?

    Or am I misremembering?

  3. Alex Wright
    Thumb Up

    If it's really open source as promised...

    ... It can only be a good thing. They seem to have some nifty new ideas, and that can only help bring innovation to the browser market.

    If they are smart, they will continue to donate to Mozilla to avoid future anti trust issues.

    I just hope Chrome renders similarly to Firefox (i.e. standards compliant), so I don't have the pain of developing on another non standard browser like IE.

  4. Leigh Smith

    I seem to be lost

    Excuse me I was looking for The Register's article slagging off Google's new web browser and ridiculing the hype. You know something that poured scorn on open source, made fun of the comic book and generally mocked all involved. All I seem to able to find is this oddly positive and optimistic article. Clearly I am in the wrong place. Can someone give me directions?

  5. Tim


    It's not surprising. They offer innovative software and services far closer to what users want than MS or Yahoo. It's easy to forget now, but gmail was a revelation when it first launched.

    I read the comic strip and it's genuinely interesting - far more so than Firefox, both technically and in terms of its user model. I will definitely be trying Chrome.

    As users we have to decide if we are comfortable trusting Google with so much of our data. That is the price we pay for access to their technology.

  6. Rhys Parsons


    Surely that's a JavaScript engine!

  7. A M Street


    Every time I read about Google My heart sinks a little more. It does truly seem as if they are bent in making the internet into their own image. I like Firefox as it is and the reason I use Linux is because I don't want anyone telling me what I can and cannot do with my machines. Still I gave up using Google as a search engine long ago and there is nothing that will persuade me to use the so called "cloud"

    Our boxes are, apart from the stuff from Apple, called PCs. People should stop and remember that this stands for "Personal Computer". I for one wish them to remain that way and not be morphed into a dumb terminal controlled by the mega corporations wanting to part me from as much of my money as they can get away with. Yes. Google included.

    "Do no evil, but look out for ways of ripping the poor saps off."

    L and S looking for your wallet

  8. Andrew Vaughan

    I, for one, welcome our new Google overlords.

    I'm looking forward to my Nutrimatic Drink Dispenser.

  9. Suburban Inmate

    Attention WWW Codemonkeys

    Message from A. W. Ebuser:

    While we, the userbase, tentatively welcome Google's innovation to accomodate the evolution of websites and their -interactive- content, we must issue some words of caution regarding needless reliance on scripts, applets and suchlike where simpler and more secure static pages will convey the content just as clearly. You must not allow yourselves to slip into the habit of using "pretty things" for their own sake.

    For instance: It has come to my attention that some of your number are using JavaScript links where a tried and trusted <a href=...> would suffice. Furthermore, some are you are even coding pages of simple static content (specifically "content" not "content plus pretty widgets that we the users just ignore") that refuse to load (even a scriptless alternative) without JS enabled. For an prime example of this ridiculous nincompoopery from those who should certainly know better, see the Google Chrome comic strip. These practices are of great annoyance and inconvenience to those users, myself included, that are sensible enough to surf with the NoScript Mozilla plugin enabled.

    Please refrain from this idiocy, as we are currently considering having repeat offenders shot on sight (of needless JS).

    That is all.

  10. adnim Silver badge

    At least

    it is open source. The code can be analysed and the user, can if they so wish, find out what it is doing beneath the chrome. Of course should one decide to employ this browser it will have to be reconfigured immediately after install to point away from Google servers and services, and the default search engine set to Scroogle. At least for those who want privacy and don't supply Google with all their emails, documents and search terms.

    The Internet's access points will only be "Google-ised" if the ignorant masses allow it.

    Ah, now there's the rub.

  11. Chris Hamilton
    Paris Hilton

    A creeping threat.

    I fear that Google has the potential to be a much bigger threat than Microsoft ever was.

    Google not only have a good deal of control of the data collection from the internet, they now seek to control the distribution of that data (see last weeks story on their submarine cables), they have made clear their aspirations in the mobile and OS markets and now they want a piece of the browser pie as well.

    Maybe, when the EU/US regulators have stopped whipping Microsoft, they could wake up and smell the coffee.

    Paris, cos she would enjoy a whipping by the EU.

  12. David Harris


    Google has a great search engine and some neat apps which with this browser will be enhanced as time goes by. I am looking forward to this browser, it sounds great.

    I just wish Google would stop their intrusion on our browsing habits in the way that they do, also do something about all the webspam, I can even see it on this website as I am typing this. The internet is for interesting material and not just advertising.


  13. Anonymous Coward

    Interesting quote in the BBC coverage

    'Dean Hachamovitch, general manager of Internet Explorer, was more bullish.

    "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, respects their personal choices about how they want to browse and, more than any other browsing technology, puts them in control of their personal data online," he said in a statement"

    Do Microsoft really believe the shit they push out? People use IE because its forced upon them by Microsoft. Try as you might to get rid of it IE will suddenly pop up because something somewhere is making a call which ends up being handled by IE. Since when did MS ever respect anyone's "Personal Choices" and their "Personal Data"

    Mines the one with the arms folded behind the back

  14. sabroni Silver badge

    Separate processes per tab

    This is just gui flim-flam! Back in the day browsers didn't have tabs, each window was it's own process. It's not exactly a revolution to go back to that, even if you wrap it in a fancy window.

  15. Jason McLaughlin
    Thumb Up

    @Alex Wright

    It uses Webkit ( which is fully open source and based on KHTML. The current builds of Webkit of the most standards compliant renderers out there, passing the Acid 3 test 100%.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Leigh Smith

    It's over there --->, by a different author. Are you by any chance American? This isn't Fox news, there is no "stay on message", there are only people, writing.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    home users v corporates

    In a separate story about IE8, someone made the comment that the amount of integration with management technologies (group policy on Windows, SMS etc) is one of the things that keeps IE entrenched in the enterprise, and therefore high on the browser numbers stats. Until Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, whoever make it as easy for a big corporate to manage their browsers as IE does, they'll never make the switch. Home users care about all the other stuff, corporates WILL be swayed by how easy the browser is for them to control. The browser has to be easy to be controlled remotely 'out of the box'.. simply providing add-ons or bespoke builds will not be enough since corporate sysadmins won't trust the ongoing support of such solutions.

    Without that, Firefox's approximate 20% market share is the best you're going to get!

  18. DZ-Jay

    This is the way the world ends...

    ...Not with a bang but with a whimper.


  19. Dan
    Dead Vulture


    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the way Google scan your interent use is very similar to what Phorm were proposing just a little bit more hidden. I've had techies shouting at me when I dare suggest Phorm is only small step from what's happens already but they're more than happy to Gmail away. This will probably be another arm to their core business, which is basically selling Adword adverts.

  20. Tom Chiverton

    Windows Chrome beta today

    "Windows Chrome beta today".

    Uh huh. And everyone else ... ? FireFox got started on non-Windows machines, in the main, and that initial traction is what will make Chrome a success.

  21. Dan Silver badge

    @Separate processes per tab

    If I remember right, Firefox doesn't use separate processes, IE does but only if you click on the IE icon to open a new window (opening a new window or tab from the file menu doesn't spawn a new process).

  22. Joe K
    Gates Horns

    Not bad

    I enjoyed the comic strip, and was intruiged by its ideas, and agree that MS needs yet another boot up the arse to put proper coders on the IE project........

    ....but it'll take a LOT more than some fancy talk to get me away from Opera. And a lot more than that to ever trust Google with all my browsing data.

  23. Tony Bryer

    The program formerly known as Chrome

    "Called it Chrome? Didn't someone (hello Bill) use that name already?"

    Yes it was RemObjects .Net Object Pascal, but on looking at their website,, its name has changed to Oxygene - if the name change ever made the news, I missed it.

  24. Tim Bergel
    Thumb Up

    @Suburban inmate

    "It has come to my attention that some of your number are using JavaScript links where a tried and trusted <a href=...> would suffice"

    Thanks, exactly my thoughts

  25. Anonymous Coward

    well actually...

    > Try as you might to get rid of it IE will suddenly pop up

    Ubuntu, Firefox, Osx, Safari, iPhone...

    IE is no longer a part of my online experience and i don't expect there to be a reason for me to want to switch back to microsoft products.

    Google know too much about my surfing habits for me to feel comfortable sharing my browsing habits with them too.

  26. Xander Dent

    Anti-Trust... or not.

    "Maybe, when the EU/US regulators have stopped whipping Microsoft, they could wake up and smell the coffee."

    Well, maybe if you were ***Paying*** for the service you might just have something to complain about. Since you ain't, Jog On.


  27. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    V8 = VB

    Has anyone noticed that the V8 javascript (engine) looks alot like VB?

    Do you think the google board meet regularly and say "right how can we piss M$ off today" (another parody of their old "where do you want to go today")

    If i were a betting man, before the 1.0 release of chrome, we will see the beta of something like chrome-light, which will rival Silverlight and Flash!!

    While i welcome the google innovations and competition, i got to wonder where they are going with this. In 5 years time, the internet may equal google. They own the frontend, the backend and (an ever increasing amount of) everything in between.

    Imagine if you will a giveaway bin outside every train station with a bootable 128meg flashdrive (10p each in bulk?) or free with the metro. Onto this is loaded a small linux OS (Gos??) with chrome. Bye Bye microsoft and then i for one would welcome our new google overlords.

  28. GrahamT

    You wait all morning for an article about Chrome on El Reg...

    then two come along at the same time.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one

    Am I the only one who is concerned by the words:

    "...It's using the open source movement to prevent Microsoft, or anyone else, locking users in to a proprietary Internet access route that is not favourable to Google's interests..."

    I don't really care about the MS bit, but the "not favourable to Google's interests" bit really has me concerned. Don't say the just because it's open source everyone will be able to know exactly what it's doing, because 99.9% of people who use browsers on any OS (maybe less on linux) have no idea how to look at the code, or read it or even keep up with security news that may tell them something is amiss.

    Do no evil, my ass.

  30. W
    IT Angle

    More importantly, where's the equivalent version of Chrome for the LAN/desktop

    As per sabroni. Separate processes per tab = back to the Windows Taskbar. Chrome ain't all that.

    Know what I want?

    I want an OS with six things:

    1) A Progs pulldown menu (so I can choose what progs to open and close)

    2) A Docs pulldown menu with option to view in full window with simple browsing tree and preview panel (docs to open and close)

    3) A link to the internet browser

    4) A System Settings button (so I can fiddle when things aren't going the way I want)

    5) Two taskbars: one for LAN stuff, one for WAN stuff, both with draggable prog tabs.

    6) A totally blank desktop (folk who have stuff strewn over their desktop are either too ignorant or lazy/disorganised to find a home for stuff which is asking for trouble)

    Windows + Firefox is so near yet so far.

    1 = Windows Start button > Progs > ProgOfChoice

    2 = Windows Start button > Docs > Explorer (circa Win 95 version)

    3 = Windows Start button > Settings > RelevantDialogueBox

    4 = Windows Start Button > Firefox/GoogleChrome

    5 = Windows task bar / Firefox tabs

    All that's missing is for MS to make manipulation of minimised progs more functional. Draggable, kill square on the taskbar, etc.

    Although ever since MS decided to merge File Manage/Windows Explorer with IE, they've both got progressively worse and while there's a replacement for IE, I'm unaware of a replacement for the Windows Explorer side of things.

    If MS had anything about them, they'll rethink IE and relaunch it as simply "Explorer" and have done with it. And then let you toggle between "Desktop/LAN Taskbar" and "Internet/Cloud Taskbar".

    But they'd only knacker it up by putting in "shortcuts" that offer a million ways of doing one task, but perversely seem to make things actually take longer.

    Know what I don't want?

    1> All my stuff on "the cloud".

    Chrome will just be an enhanced version of FF+Opera that embraces the Cloud more closely - a WAN/internet desktop if you will. All well and good, and I'll probably use it.

  31. Greg


    "I just hope Chrome renders similarly to Firefox (i.e. standards compliant), so I don't have the pain of developing on another non standard browser like IE."

    If it's open source, I'm guessing if it doesn't comply with standards, it soon will!

    Does anyone know exactly when today it's coming along? I'm right in the middle of some cross-browser testing on a new interface, weirdly enough.

  32. Richard Large


    Firefox is like IE in that respect - a new thread for each window (not tab). I hope Chrome can be run non-tabbed, or I definately won't be using it... nobody has yet managed to explain why they are so good.

  33. Jared Earle


    ... and I want a Moon Pony.

  34. Isabello

    Oh dear!

    "Chrome(n): Showy features added to attract users but contributing little or nothing to the power of a system...Often used as a term of contempt." [The Jargon File]

    A well chosen name then.

  35. adnim Silver badge

    @Fraser:Am I the only one

    I see your point, but if there is anything truly nasty in the code then the 0.1% of users who are able to read code can shout about it and if nasty enough it will reach media that the remaining 99.9% of users have contact with.

    As for closed source, what percentage of the user population is able to fully reverse closed source, and if they manage to find some nasties are they not open to prosecution for abusing the terms of the user licence?

    I agree with your point regarding Google's interests, they are looking for further domination of the Internet. I believe their interests lie whole heartedly with the share holder and not the user.

  36. Ben Mathews

    From the looks of things...

    You can detach tabs from the main browser window and either move them to another instance of the browser or leave them totally seperate. I like. I want. now.

    For those expressing privacy concerns, if it does send data back to the google borg ship, being open source there will be a custom version that doesn't out in a matter of days is my guess.

  37. Steve

    Well I'm happy

    Thanks Google for making a few leaps forward unlike IE8 which is lagging behind and doing nothing more than stealing it's ideas from others (mostly Firefox).

    I'll be installing it as soon as I get my pointer on it!

  38. Simon Ward
    Thumb Down

    Meh ...

    I've already made it know that if I find 'Chrome' on our network, it will be terminated with extreme prejudice and I reserve the right to dish out the same fate to its unfortunate user with the help of a length of Clue-By-Four[tm]

    As someone has already said, Google already knows about my searching habits and there's no way in hell it's going to gather data on my browsing habits, open source browser or no. Trust is a two-way street.

    The only consolation I can see is that it might spur on some innovation in the Firefox and Exploder camps, although given what the last lot of 'innovation' led to, it's a very *small* consolation.

    Do no evil, my arse.

  39. Allan Rutland
    Thumb Up


    Page 10, and the MS monkey coders...nice one Google!

  40. Rob Holmes
    Gates Horns

    @Richard Large

    In answer to the (implied) question "why are tabs so great?", two words:

    Mouse Gestures.

    Integrated with Opera, plugin available for FF, nothing as far as IE is concerned, and guess what? Tabs are a pain in the Yaris with Explorer.

  41. Eddie Johnson
    Thumb Down

    Corporate Firefox

    "Until Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, whoever make it as easy for a big corporate to manage their browsers as IE does, they'll never make the switch."

    A very good point AC. I deploy Firefox in our office and its a struggle just keeping everyone's NoScript installed. Firefox's support for "global extensions" is a pathetic joke. Actually, the way all the "global" config is handled sucks, especially when you switch between different major versions. I, as an admin may run 1.5, 2.0 and 3 all on any given day, and Firefox's handling of this scenario is pretty bad. Unless you explicitly call a separate profile for each version it just dumps certain settings out of your personal profile whenever they match the defaults for the particular version you are running at the time. Then you go back to a version where you actually need those custom settings and you've been defaulted.

    Plus, every time a new version comes out you are discouraged from upgrading because there is some extension that's not supported. I can't run FF3 now because the AllCookies extension isn't supported and I need that to dump session cookies for WGET.

    Gotta give it a big :thumbup: for the spellcheck though, it certainly helped this post.

  42. Chris Long

    Google Europe 2.0

    Page 13 of that comic has a map of Europe where Belgium, Holland and those other funny little countries have all apparently been assimilated into Germany.

    From another company you'd assume it was a mistake, but from Google, it has to be a bit worrying.

  43. GrahamT
    Thumb Up

    I liked the speed limit sign on one of the frames.

    10 superscript 100 = 1 googol

  44. Skinny
    Paris Hilton

    Again with the present buying

    Just skim read through the 'comic' and saw the part about it having a privacy mode, in the same vein as IE8.

    They used exactly the same example, the 'buying a present for a loved one'

    I thought Google was at least brave enough to call it what it is, 'porn mode'

    Paris - Because I'm sure she'll get plenty of presents bought for her in Privacy mode.

  45. Solomon Grundy

    Browser Market

    What is this browser market you speak of? Every market I've ever participated in sold something - all the browser people give their product away. Doesn't sound like much of a market to me.

    It's somewhat foolish, and very quaint, this idea that by making a "better browser" it will somehow erode market share from existing corporate powerhouse(s). No one buys a Windows box because it comes bundled with free IE - they buy a Windows box because it's what Joe Public is familiar with and all he needs. MegaCorp buys Windows for all the reasons outlined in previous posts, and then some. Geeks may get riled up about how important technical differences are, but most people and business just don't care cause it ain't that important.

  46. David S

    I reserve judgement...

    ...until I get a go. The hype looks good, and the rationale makes sense. I know a number of people already using google docs for collaboration, and it seems safe to assume that this will work nicely with that.. I'm pretty browser-agnostic in the main; most of what I do works wherever, although some things I simply can't get Opera to do properly; I look forward to taking the new kid for a spin around the block, once the fanfare dies down and he makes his appearance...

  47. Albert

    @Browser Market

    If you use gmail, and googleapps then you see their ads, this is their market place.

    By encouraging Chrome Google can ensure compatibility with their code making for a better experience, increased usage, more ads viewed and clicked on. That’s their marketplace.

    For Microsoft – if people move to web apps then they won’t need desktop apps such as office.

    As long as the experience of using web apps is less than the desktop Microsoft has a change. If the web apps become fully functional and internet connections are 100% reliable then web apps are more than good enough.

    As above if Google can make web apps more like desktop apps then they win market share for their advertising.

    On a persoanl note - I'll wait for the open source folks to rip it apart and make it less invasive. Other then that I like the ideas and it all makes sense except for giving one commercial company control of my online lfe.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go go google gadgets go

    Google is one huge threat to all other companies - they are using technology properly and they understand the competitive edge it brings.

    Personally I don't care how this pans out, it only takes one big player to use tech correctly and other companies are going to follow suit to even stay in the game.

    The browser is very important for brand, the home page of the browser is the internet to most people - coincidentally that often turns out to be google.

    But, if you can own the shell around, and pump information directly to that application then you have it - that is worth a lot and is the reason no one has really been able to charge for a browser - it is just too valuable to have people running your browser it is the ultimate loss leader, especially if you have things you want to deliver that is paid for.

  49. RW

    @ Suburban inmate

    "we must issue some words of caution regarding needless reliance on scripts, applets and suchlike where simpler and more secure static pages will convey the content just as clearly."

    and don't be fooled by the juvenile humor the site's proprietor, Vince Flanders, sometimes favors. He's dead serious.

    Why is there no "pulling wings off flies" icon? There are so many badly designed and executed websites out there that writing letters of complaint to webmasters has become a way of releasing minor pent-up sadistic urges: "other websites don't have this problem, what's wrong with yours?"

  50. Schroeder

    @Solomon Grundy

    I'm sure I'll not be the only one to point this out - Joe Public gets Windows on his PC because thats all he's allowed to buy due to Microsoft's hold over the OEM's. Ditto for businesses.

    Hopefully the current trend with laptots will see this finally see this start to be reversed.

    As for the Google browser. Well, personally I don't see them as all that evil, but then I don't use a search engine that much tbh, and theirs has the least intrusive adds. I can certainly see the logic in wanting to ensure that Microsoft don't become the Internet gate keeper. However, I do find it amusing that it's the Microsoft fanbois who subscribe to the idea that any company that wishes to compete with Microsoft only wants to do so so it can become a bigger Monopoly than the beast of Redmond, rather than just ensure it's doesn't become the latest EEE roadkill...

    When it's released I'll give it a go, if its better than Firefox, I'll move, if not, so long as it follows the standards, it'll be just another test platform.


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