Google unveils browser, acknowledges debt to Apple

Tue Sep 2, 2008 4:01pm EDT
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By Eric Auchard

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

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.

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.   Continued...

<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. REUTERS/Kimberly White</p>