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Posted at 12:58am on 02 Sep 2008
Google have announced that they're releasing a new open source web browser today. Using an innovative multi-process model for improved stability, and the Apple Webkit engine for fast, standards-compliant page rendering, this has a lot of potential. Read about it in their excellent comic-book-style blog posting.
I suspect that it will be the death of Firefox. Firefox's user experience and browser technology is better than IE (though Microsoft is catching up fast) but worse than Safari. It's a bloated memory hog, with a quirky non-standard UI, and it only exists because it's open source, has great plugin support and is arguably the only decent browser on Windows for the discerning web user (Opera is too complicated and Safari is too alien for the average Windows aficionado).
Google Chrome is open source too, and historically Google have encouraged people to build mash-ups with their technology, so one would guess that it will support plugins.
Google is not quite Apple when it comes to user interfaces, but the design they've outlined for chrome is simple and elegant - more so than Firefox. Chrome will probably never look as good as Safari does on a Mac, nor will it be as ubiquitous as Internet Explorer on Windows. But for the comfortable 15-20% of Internet users who use Firefox on Windows, Chrome could well become the de-facto choice overnight.Permalink