Google's New Web Browser: Google Chrome

A Chrome Finish - Playing In the Sandbox

A Chrome Finish - Playing In the Sandbox

It was perhaps inevitable that Google, a Web 2.0 company with a massive user base for its famous search engine and web applications, would join the competitive web browsing scene that's currently dominated by Microsoft's Internet Explorer while the remainder of the market is split among by Mozilla's Firefox (whose market share is steadily increasing), Apple's Safari and the Opera browser.

But that's not surprising of Google, given its history of offering users innovative free and open source products and alternatives. Take for example, their take on email with their record bursting (at that time) Gmail with its 1GB of storage space, or Google Docs, which would allow you to both store and edit documents online for easy access anywhere. Given such a pedigree of products, it was definitely logical to assume that it was just a matter of time before Google would start on their own browser to access both the World Wide Web and for better and smoother access and integration to their products/services.

Of course, to be fair, as much as we would like to act nonchalant about new products from Google, the announcement about their new browser did catch us by surprise, seeing as how we were waiting for them to debut an Android-based mobile phone . Instead, we decided to head down to their offices to catch a live demonstration by Google and found that compared to the current crop of web browsers however, Google's new Google Chrome, was an altogether different slice of the cake (and no, this cake isn't a lie).

Linus Upson, Engineering Director spoke to us via video conferencing on Google's new web toy: the Google Chrome browser.

The press kit from Google with the comic book in paper! (This is ours, so you'll just have to make do with the one available online. Sorry!)

What's most interesting about the new Google Chrome is its take on the web browsing experience. The whole product is written from ground up, and designed to work with the today's applications instead of the other way around. Stability here is an important issue for Chrome, and Google's placing an emphasis on Chrome's ability to run multiple tabs without the problems found in today's browsers. We're talking of course, about the issue where if one tab encounters a problem, your only recourse would be to shut down the entire browser and all its tabs, and lose whatever information that you may have been working on.

Of course, some browsers like Firefox allow you to recover your previous session in the event that it crashes, but this isn't as reliable as most would like it and if you've been a victim of a crash before, we can sympathize. To counter this problem, Google Chrome's multi-tab browsing works differently by isolating each single tab in its own sandbox environment.

While this does take up more memory overhead initially, it protects your browser from crashing by preventing a "rogue" tab from crashing the entire browser and also allows you to kill the individual process/tab. Memory fragmentation issues are also minimized as a result. Web page compatibility issues too will be something of a moot point with Chrome, as Google aggressively tests each new build via its own internal servers on over tens of thousands of pages sorted by their page rank system.

Rendered all fine and dandy on Chrome is our main page.

Another cool feature that the Chrome browser has is that when you open a tab, it doesn't just open a blank tab, it opens a tab that shows you 9 of your favourite / last visited pages for quick and easy access.

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