Google to Launch Webkit Based Web Browser Called 'Chrome'


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Google announced today that they would be releasing a new open source web browser called Google Chrome. The new browser will be available for download as a beta starting tomorrow.

Google states that the reason for a new web browser is that the company believes that it "can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web." The new browser is said to be "streamlined and simple" and "clean and fast". The underlying rendering engine is based on Webkit which is also used by Apple's Safari.

Other features were revealed in a comic book that detailed the new browser. Features include:

- New JavaScript engine called V8 for faster performance
- "Special tabs" above the window, not below the address bar (see image above)
- Address bar auto-completion
- Opera-like "Speed Dial" with thumbnails of your most visited 9 websites
- Privacy mode
- Web apps can be launched in their own window without addressbar/toolbar

The entire comic book is published at

Article Link


macrumors 68020
Apr 3, 2005
I'm calling the cops
Seems like Google is following in Apples' footsteps on this one. With Snow Leopard being all about cutting down the fat it's nice to see Google is releasing a browser that doesn't hog performance on older machines like my powermac.

Can't wait!


macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2007
This is awesome and slightly unexpected. Though, I too wonder whether they should have based it on gecko instead of webkit. By the way, guess which browser they are going to support in android. I betcha it won't be mobile firefox.


macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
Washington D.C
Hmmmm... so we really want this type of thing to be open source, from a standpoint of security. Just asking...

Looks at FireFox, looks at IE/
Looks at OS X(Open Source based) and Linux, looks at Windows.


To bad Linux and OS X have to wait. Also I'm surprised, Google was pretty close with FireFox, and they made a mark in IE's usage. Now FF market share might take a hit due to this. Hopefully Google will pressure Dell, HP, etc to make Chrome ships with PCs, so IE takes a big hit.


macrumors regular
May 26, 2006
Rochester, NY
This could be awesome, I can't wait for the Mac version!

I love Safari's speed, but I am really not fond of two things:
1. There isn't an (easy) way to make Private Browsing the default.
2. You can't have more than one username/password for any one site.

I hope sincerely that Google can deliver on those two gripes I have. If so, they win my support!


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
I'll definitely be trying it when they release a Mac version. Competition is a good thing.


macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2007
Now I don't see the rush in announcing it before a version for all OS's is available. If it based on the same thing Safari is based off of, is a Mac version really that complicated? :confused:

Keep in mind, I have zip developmental skills, as just an "Average" browser user, so if there is a lot more then meets the eye in the process just let me know.


macrumors regular
Dec 6, 2003
West Lafayette, IN

Is the javascript rendering engine squirrelfish a part of Webkit. (i thought so)

Is V8 google's name for squirrelfish?

Is the rendering engine for javascript separate from webkit?

I'm glad to see another webkit based browser.


macrumors 6502
Sorry to be rude - but: So what!?!

As far as I can tell, browsers are really about the same. Granted, I can more speed out of Safari, but more limits to site and sometimes, limited functionality. Firefox is fine and dandy. Opera...meh. IE, don't use it anymore.

Other than processor intensive javascript, I'm fine on safari. Sure, I like something new to play with here and there... but really - a new browser?


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
Interesting direction for Google.

When Apple does something like this, it's almost always a well-thought-out piece of a larger overall strategy.

When Google does it, I'm never quite sure if it's just something one group is just trying or if there is a grander plan.

I mean sure, Google is about web advertising, and it's straightforward to see how having a Google browser could enhance that. But on a grander scale this could:

* Be the Google "OS" -- well, really the Google application platform. For example, the Google apps are neat. But browser technology really limits just how useful these can really become. Control the app platform, however, and the sky's the limit. Of course, this would be a lot bigger than just the Google apps. They'd want to take a significant share of the client app platform market.
* If the Chrome platform can't reach critical mass, they will at least want to push other browsers to be a better application platform.

Microsoft/IE is in a tricky position. On one hand, browsers are assailing its market dominance from the left and right. On the other hand, MS simply cannot/will not provide the basis for its competitors' application platforms. They can play the stalling game, dribbling in real features (along with large cosmetic changes) at the slowest rate they think they can get away with--IE 7, IE 8--while at the same time pushing their own, proprietary web app platform as hard as possible (Silverlight, or whatever they replace that with). Time will tell if MS, Adobe, or Google, will win this war. Apple isn't a serious player here, but it will be interesting to see if they want to become one.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
It's not quite analogous, but I'm suddenly reminded of what happened when Spyglass dealt with Microsoft... bah, anything that annoys the Mozilla Foundation is worth a laugh in my books :cool:.

I bags ("this isn't public school, Wilson!") first development on Google AdWords ad blocker. And no, Google, most people don't use the web for "apps" - beyond maybe a mail client. Locally hosted software works just great, and it takes advantage of all that tasty local native speed, reliability and security, just as it has since the early '80s when your intended model last went out of fashion. But keep up the good work with search - it's what you do well.