September 2, 2008 / 6:44 PM / 9 years ago

Google unveils browser, acknowledges debt to Apple

3 Min Read

<p>Google's co-founders Larry Page (R) and Sergey Brin (L) chat with web browser product leader Darin Fisher after a news conference introducing the company's new web browser, dubbed Google Chrome browser, at the company headquarters in Mountain View, California September 2, 2008.Kimberly White</p>

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - Google Inc's new browser software is designed to work "invisibly" and will run any application that runs on Apple Inc's Safari Web browser, company officials said on Tuesday.

The company said the new Web browser, dubbed Google Chrome -- a long-anticipated move to compete with Microsoft Corp, Mozilla Firefox and other browsers -- is now available for download at www.google.com/chrome/.

The public trial of the Google browser will be available in 43 languages in 100 countries, Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management said at a news conference at the company's Mountain View, California headquarters.

"You actually spend more time in your browser than you do in your car," Brian Rakowski, group product manager for the browser project, said of the significance of offering a faster browser and forcing greater competition in the market.

Google Chrome relies on Apple's WebKit software for rendering Web pages, he said. It also has taken advantage of features of community-developed browser Firefox from Mozilla Corp. Google is a primary financial backer of Mozilla.

"If you are Webmaster, and your site works in Apple Safari then it will work very well in Google Chrome," Pichai said.

Officials said Chrome's code would be fully available for other developers to enhance. A Google official said it planned to share code that makes Chrome work with WebKit openly with other WebKit open source developers.

<p>Google software engineer Ben Goodger introduces the company's new web browser, dubbed Google Chrome, at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California September 2, 2008.Kimberly White</p>

Apple WebKit is widely used by Web developers, not simply for Apple applications like the iPhone but also by Google itself with its mobile phone software, called Android.

"We have borrowed good ideas from others," Pichai said. "Our goal here was to bring our point of view but do it in a very open way," he said in response to a reporter's question.

"We don't want to live in a world where all that (innovation) is locked up and kept secret," Google co-founder Larry Page told the news conference. Page was a primary supporter of the Chrome project among Google's executive team.

Sergey Brin, Page's fellow co-founder, said Google planned to continue to work closely with Mozilla and hoped to see future version of Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox become more unified over time.

"It is probably worth noting that they (Mozilla Corp) are across the street and they come over here for lunch," Brin said of Mozzilla employees visits to cafeterias at the Googleplex headquarters. "I hope we will have more and more unity over time."

Chrome introduces various features that promise to make Web browsing faster, more secure and stable.

The browser allows users to keep working even when one of its open windows crashes.

Chrome is designed to take advantage of multi-core chips, recently offered by Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices, which allow computers to handle multiple processes simultaneously and with greater speed, Google engineers said.

Editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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