Google launches Chrome web browser

Search giant ups the ante against Microsoft in the battle for web supremacy.

Google Chrome

Google today launched a beta version of its own web browser.

It claims the new browser, called Google Chrome, will help drive greater innovation on the web in what is no doubt a direct salvo at current web incumbent Microsoft.

Based on an updated JavaScript engine, Chrome will be capable of running complex web applications much more efficiently and speedily both now and in the future, according to Google.

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"Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realised that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build," Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management and Linus Upson, engineering director wrote in a company blog 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."

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While Chrome will also give Mozilla's Firefox a run for its money too, the search giant is planning on working closely with the open source community rather than against it on its new venture. Indeed, the initial beta of Chrome will run on Windows, but Google is also planning Mac and Linux releases.

"We owe a great debt to many open source projects, and we're committed to continuing on their path. We've used components from Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox, among others - and in that spirit, we are making all of our code open source as well. We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward," continued the blog post.

"The web gets better with more options and innovation. Google Chrome is another option, and we hope it contributes to making the web even better."

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