Google launching Chrome web browser beta for Windows

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google_chrome.pngThanks to some over-exuberant staff at Google, the cat’s out of the bag a bit earlier than planned on its new project: Chrome.

From tomorrow, Google will launch a beta version of its new web browser, which it no doubts hope will challenge the dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and take chunks out of Firefox’s increasing popularity.

A Windows version will be available in 100 countries (presumably the UK will be one of them), and should be “streamlined and simple”. Features include separating each tab into its own “sandbox” to minimise the risk of web applications crashing the whole browser and provide better protection from malicious code, and a powerful “V8” JavaScript engine to “power the next generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s browsers”.

I’m sure there’s a lot more under the hood, though Google’s primary aim is “to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible”.

Also in the pipeline are Mac and Linux versions, which will be critical if it’s to gain universal appeal, given the increasing popularity of those two operating systems (and particularly as Mac OS X has no viable version of Internet Explorer to compete against).

Google also plans to make its code open source. “We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward,” the team writes on the Official Google Blog.

What do you think? Is Google Chrome an exciting new project or has Google bitten off more than it can chew?

The browser should be available here from tomorrow. Windows users, give it a go, and let us know what you think.

Take a look at the comic book.

(Via Blogoscoped)

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Andy Merrett

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