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Google launches new web browser

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday September 2, 2008 )

I’m writing this via Google’s new entry into the web browser sphere – Google Chrome; an application sure to stir things up in a market that’s been dominated by Internet Explorer and Firefox for some time.

Google Chrome is a very lightweight browser – the download was under 10 megabytes. It’s not what you’d call the most pretty application, but is tidy and seems quite zippy. The application utilizes components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Setup couldn’t be easier – it imported all my bookmarks and history automatically from Internet Explorer, so I was up and running in under a minute.

While the browser interface has a very bare bones feel; some of the interesting features include an address bar that doubles as a search box, dynamic tabs that allow you drag tabs out of the browser to create new windows or gather multiple tabs into one window.

A nice feature is “crash control”. I don’t know how many times I’ve had 20 or so tabs lined up, then I visit a page which causes a browser problem and then all the other tabs close too. With crash control, only the tab with the page causing the problem will close.

For the more privacy conscious, Google Chrome offers Icognito mode. Pages and files downloaded while incognito won’t be logged or cached in your browsing and download histories. After closing the incognito window; all cookies colllected during that session will be deleted. It’s a nice feature for users but one sure to drive marketers and affiliates nuts.

While this level of privacy can easily be achieved in IE and Firefox; it can’t be done on a window by window basis. With Google Chrome, you can browse normally and in incognito mode simultaneously by using separate windows.

Google Chrome is currently available for download in 100 countries. It’s being released as an Open Source project, so it will be very interesting to see how it evolves in the time ahead


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