Google's new browser muscles in on Microsoft

If you've been keeping up with the voices in the blogosphere, particularly the tech side, there's no way you'd have missed the fact that Google has just released a new browser called Chrome. But since I know you most of you probably haven't, here's a quick update. 

What is Chrome?

Basically Google has released an Open Source beta (test) version a new internet explorer (browser). It is small to download, simple to use and apparently very fast (although if you're not a developer, you'd never really notice). 

Quick highlights of what's different

  • The search and address field is the same - which is good for the tech savvy, but probably a bit tricky for everyone else. 
  • The homepage shows you your 'most visited' sites, recently closed tabs and bookmarks.
  • Unlike IE, you can shut down tabs that have crashed without losing all your open windows.
  • Security wise, before loading any suspect page Google Chrome will warn you if its a site that is suspected of malware or phishing.
  • Bookmarking is ridiculously easy.

Google Chrome

Why should you care?

Apparently Chrome is not just a browser, but a platform for web pages and applications based on a more powerful JavaScript engine called V8, that can power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers. Basically it creates huge potential for Google to integrate its multitude of apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Blogger, Notebook, RSS Reader etc, into a browser in a way that’s never been done before. 

Also and more importantly, since the browser is a desktop application, when combined with Google's Gears which allows web applications to run offline, this finally means that Google is moving into Microsoft operating system territory. In short we might finally see some real competition to Windows and Macs! 

If you're building web apps for your start-up then this is probably something you should keep your eye on. If not, well then I doubt you're missing much by sticking with IE, but that's a story for another post :)


I'm curious to know what others think. Have you tried Chrome? Do you like it? Write in and let me know...

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