Google's Open Source browser to challenge Microsoft

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Google's Open Source browser to challenge Microsoft

Google has suddenly announced the launch of Chrome, an Open Source internet browser set to challenge Microsoft's web dominance.

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Chrome will be released on Wednesday, just weeks after Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 8.

Stepping into a war that has pitted Microsoft against Apple, Mozilla and Opera, Google’s beta release of Chrome is reminiscent of the 1990s browser wars.

Google Chrome will be released for Microsoft Windows in over 100 countries, with Mac and Linux versions still under development.

The browser

Chrome's code is based on WebKit, an open source web browser engine written and used by Apple in their Safari browser. WebKit could make Chrome available for iPhones and other mobiles, including those using Google's mobile phone platform Android.

The browser uses a hand-built JavaScript virtual machine, V8, which has been claimed to be faster than other JavaScript implementations. Google's product suite of web applications, which run on JavaScript, stand to benefit from increased running speeds.

Like most currently available browsers, Chrome will use tabbed browsing, placing tabs above the address bar. Individual tabs are isolated in a “sandbox” to prevent one tab from crashing the whole browser.

Some other Chrome features are available in other browsers, such as Internet Explorer’s 'privacy mode', which allows users to browse without logging websites and content. Chrome also features Opera’s "speed dial" homepage, which displays top visited websites and other information for users to browse.
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