Google BrowserSo the inevitable has happened – Google have built their first browser, set to take on Microsoft and leave Internet Explorer as a distant memory.News of today’s launch was ‘leaked’ to Google Blog-oscoped (the blog by Philipp Lenssen – which is currently down, probably due to having been visited just a bit over the last 24 hours!) via a 28 page comic book style introduction.

Google say they “hit “send” a bit early” and so have now made the comic available to one and all here.

According to The Times Online, Google Chrome will “feature a new format for tabs, the ability to view web pages as thumbnails and better features on the address bar.”

Well I for one will be having a play shortly, and will let you know my vote…

Update 11.51am Tuesday 2nd September 2008

Phew –  whoever said that comic was 28 pages long was wrong – it’s over 30 and there is some serious stuff in there! Basically Google have completely rewritten web browsers as we know them! With each tab having it’s own controls and being quite independent. This gives advantages such as each being able to do it’s own thing at one, and if one crashes the others aren’t effected. They’ve also worked on V8 – to enable fast and efficient use of Javascript in web based applications.

Anywho – Google Chrome is going to be made available any minute now… or at any point during today anyway… just watch this space…

Wednesday 3rd Septemner 2008

Google Chrome Web BrowserWell I waited and waited yesterday until I had to go out – but I now this morning have Google Chrome running on my pc. And so far so good!It’s identifying my most commonly visited pages so that when I open a new tab I can just pick one of them if I wish. I can even slide each tab around to reorder them if I want. One of Google’s major claims is that the browser makes much better use of available memory – so time will tell on that one.

News reports (on TV last night and across the web) are saying this is Google challenging Microsoft. I think it’s more likely to be a challenge to Firefox – which is a shame, seeings they’ve worked well together for a while now (and I can already see Firefox 3 features in Chrome). I recently got a new PC (and am not finding vista as bad as I thought I might!) and it came with Google Desktop installed. So are Microsoft going to keep that allegiance with Google now? Apparently Google were always worried that Microsoft might bring out their own search engine and drive their users straight to it through IE and away from Google.

Whilst Jo Public seem to have an amazing dependence on Google (I am shocked by the amount of web users who believe the Google search box is the only way to access any website), they are also scared of ‘downloading’ anything. Or don’t see a change as necessary. We can see this from the number of existing IE6 users. I’ve got a laptop with IE6 on it that we keep for testing – but even I have to be careful not to accept the IE7 update that Microsoft keep offering. And yet, somehow, so many people do still resist it! So I’m really not sure what will win out – the Google brand, or the lazy and cautious public.

Also – does anyone actually  believe that Google ‘accidentally’ sent that email early?! The Google exec on the news last night, sheepishly explaining their school-boy error (“well we are only 10 years old, so we are a school boy”) did little to sway my thoughts about a pr stunt. 

Meanwhile, what will become of Firefox? The developers favourite. Whilst I’m sat here trying out Chrome (and also – I really don’t like the name!) I do feel pangs of guilt about my former favourite shortcut sitting unused on my desktop – my computer’s hardly ever on without Firefox being open. I feel Firefox – perhaps along with Safari a while ago – set the tone that IE wasn’t up to the job in todays world (in many cases). So I hope they continue to prosper and Google doesn’t take their recent world record title (most downloads in one day) away from them too soon!