Google Chrome Kicks Browser Wars 2.0 Up a Notch

There are some rumours that just won’t die: Google putting out a browser, Apple producing a tablet computer, Microsoft making a quality OS. Every time I see these, I skip past the headline without a second thought. We can scratch that first one as of yesterday, when Google dropped the bomb that they will be releasing a browser, Google Chrome. Interestingly, they did this in the form of a comic by noted cartoonist Scott McCloud. Here’s the interesting bits in point form:

  • Fully open source.
  • Released for Windows first, Mac and Linux versions to come.
  • Different UI paradigm where tabs appear at the top of the window.
  • Uses the WebKit rendering engine, as is found in Apple’s Safari, the iPhone and iPod Touch, Nokia S60 phones, Gnome’s Epiphany, and upcoming Android phones.
  • New V8 Javascript interpreter that promises to be “really fast”.
  • Multi-threaded tabs, so if one tab crashes or hangs it doesn’t affect the rest of the browser.
  • Better memory management (looking at you, Firefox).
  • Autocompleting/suggesting address bar, similar to Firefox 3
  • “Autodial” start page, similar to Opera.

While Chrome may not make me switch from my current browser of choice (WebKit nightlies), I think it’s great to see how Google has combined some of the best elements from other browsers and will give back to the open web through open source. Browser Wars 2.0 just got 20% more interesting and innovative. Meanwhile, somewhere down in Redmond, Microsoft is still playing catchup with Internet Explorer 8.

I’ll post pictures and impressions as soon as I get chance, later this afternoon hopefully.

Tangentially speaking of Apple rumours, it’s been confirmed that an Apple “special event” is scheduled for September 9 with the subtitle “Let’s Rock”. This is in line with the September special events they’ve held every year for the last three years. Expect Steve Jobs to get up on a stage and tell you which iPod you’ll be buying this multi-denominational holiday season. Also, expect an iPhone software upgrade, and as a lesser possibility, new iMacs or MacBooks.