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Google gets into browsers with Chrome

Google announces its own web browser, called Chrome

Google has made a surprise entry into the web browser market, with the launch of its own browser, called Google Chrome.

The browser is due for beta launch in 100 countries today.

News of the browser was accidentally leaked when a webcomic that was meant as an introduction to the new browser.

In a Google blog posting, Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, and Linus Upson, Engineering Director commented: “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.

“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,” they added.

According to the blog post, Chrome has been designed to be simple to use, with a ‘clean’ interface. The browser will be open source, with Mac and Linux versions to follow.

While Google is already present in many people's web browsers through Google tool bars, or through the iGoogle home page, a dedicated browser would give Google greater visibility among users and allow it to track user browser behaviour. There would also be synergies with its online advertising business.

According to August 2008 figures from Net Applications, Google holds 79% of the global search engine market.

To see the introductory comic, click here.

For more details on Google Chrome, see the itp.net blog.

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