Hey look! It’s Chrome. By Google.

Google today launched a new open source browser. I first saw this on the Vista x64 forums here. Apparently, the idea is to take the best of the browsers, leave out the worst and make a browser with the intent to run all the rich media apps out there now “and in the future”. Here’s a snippet from that forum post:

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

If you’re curious, check the Chrome features here. Some neat stuff includes the address bar “type as you go” feature, which looks a lot like Firefox’s magic bar… which I LOVE btw… You can see a short youtube clip of each feature in use at that link.

Currently available as a beta for windows users only. I like the fact that its open source. That means you can customize it as you like, or easily find plugins, mods, customizations, etc. I’m not sure how I feel about yet *another* browser out there that I have to code for, but they all (fortunately) seem to be heading more towards compliance with W3C standards.

I also wonder if this is a precursor to Google’s Android OS for cell phones. I admit it would be very handy to code for just one browser (Chrome) and not care whether or not it is a desktop computer or a mini cell phone.

I might try this on one of my computers, but probably not till the weekend at the earliest. If I do, I’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

UPDATE: I did a little bit more poking around. There’s a link here to the official Google Blog which has (I think) the same info as was in that forum post. Also, there’s a cartoon (!!!) describing in layman’s terms (and pictures) the what, why and how.

Some things I found pretty interesting:

  • The tabs each run in their own process (not just multiple threads). Within each process there are multiple threads for rendering HTML, javascript, etc.
  • There is a “incognito” window where anything you do in that browser is not recorded.
  • A new javascript engine is supposed to be VERY fast. And, since it runs in it’s own thread, your browser doesn’t lock up waiting for the script to finish (very handy).
  • There is a list of malware and phishing sites downloaded daily. So if you try and goto a page that is in that list, you get a warning.