Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Launch early and iterate..

Google's new web browser, GoogleChrome, is now available for download. Announced yesterday through a comic strip, Google launched its open source browser, called Chrome, it has understandably got the blogosphere buzzing as the noise is everywhere. The aim is obviously to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Here is the entire press announcement;

9/01/2008 02:10:00 PM
At Google, we have a saying: “launch early and iterate.” While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.

All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. 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 realized 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.

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.

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers.

This is just the beginning -- Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust.

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.

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.

So check in again tomorrow to try Google Chrome for yourself. We'll post an update here as soon as it's ready.

Update @ 3:30 PM: We've added a link to our comic book explaining Google Chrome.


Chrome has been available for over an hour now, and first impressions are very good. I really like the design and feel of the browser, it doesn't seem awkward in any way. The speed of navigation and download is excellent and all this with a lot less memory usage compared to it's competitors. I imported over my Firefox bookmarks/passwords with no problems and Chrome positioned my bookmarks for sharing on Facebook and FriendFeed in the same position as FireFox.

Understandably there is a lot of noise everywhere with the blogosphere at fever pitch. The discussion on FriendFeed has completely overtaken my Home feed although a Chrome Room has now been created to hopefully restore order. FriendFeed has been a great source of information as it has proved to be in the passed with event such as the WWDC and FireFox 3 launch. So far I have found out;

Google Chrome has a cool built-in feature that lists the memory usage of all currently running browsers. This can be accessed by bringing up the Chrome Task Manager using Shift+Esc and then clicking on ‘Stats for nerds’. Or just type ‘about:memory’ into the Chrome Omnibar [Source]. [Like]

Google Reader was made for Chrome ;-) scrolling through my imported feeds is a breeze as it leaves FireFox and Internet Explorer for dust. You would expect with the browser being from Google that there would be advertisement overload but it's clear with no unsightly marketing material. This makes me optimistic about Android, the mobileOS Google are set to debut in the next few months.

I have read a few people mention Greasemonkey scripts needing to be introduced, as does Zemanta for blogger as I am dependant on this tool for related articles. I am certain that the introduction of these will be in the near future!

I have only experienced a few unresponsive messages being displayed and the alert gives me the option to Wait or to Kill pages. Below is a screenshot, sorry Robert :-D

Another great feature is the in-built spell checker as commenting on some messages on FriendFeed it notified me when I had input a wrong word. What is funny is that Chrome doesn't recognise the word Google underlining it as a mismatch field!

I am going to join in the Chrome discussion on FriendFeed now...

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