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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Launches Chrome, Enters Browser War

Google has launched new browser called Chrome. It can be downloaded in this link

I have downloaded and using it from a day. Its very simple and fast. :) Still I have not found flaws or bugs in it.

Google Chrome is a free and open source web browser developed by Google. Primary goals in new browser were improvements in security, speed and stability compared to existing browsers.

Security features in Chrome:
Chrome periodically downloads updates of two blacklists (one for phishing and one for malware) and warns users when they attempt to visit a harmful site. This service is also made available for use by others via a free public API called "Google Safe Browsing API". In the process of maintaining these blacklists, Google also notifies the owners of listed sites who may not be aware of the presence of the harmful software.

Each tab in Chrome is sandboxed into its own process to "prevent malware from installing itself" or "using what happens in one tab to affect what happens in another". Following the principle of least privilege, each process is stripped of its rights and can compute but can not write files or read from sensitive areas (e.g. documents, desktop)—this is similar to "Protected Mode" that is used by Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista. The Sandbox Team is said to have "taken this existing process boundary and made it into a jail";[11] for example malicious software running in one tab is unable to sniff credit card numbers, interact with the mouse or tell "Windows to run an executable on start-up" and will be terminated when the tab is closed. This enforces a simple computer security model whereby there are two levels of multilevel security (user and sandbox) and the sandbox can only respond to communication requests initiated by the user.

A separate process is allocated to each task (tabs, plugins, etc.), as is the case with modern operating systems. This prevents tasks from interfering with each other, which is good for both security and stability; an attacker successfully gaining access to one application does not gain access to all, and failure in one application results in a Sad Tab screen of death.

User interface:
The main user interface includes back, forward, refresh, bookmark, go and cancel options. Tabs are the primary component of Chrome's user interface and as such have been moved to the top of the window rather than below the controls (similar to Opera).

By default, there is no status bar displayed unlike other browsers which display one at the bottom of the screen. However, when the mouse cursor is moved over a link, the address of the link is displayed at the bottom left of the screen.
When the window is not maximized, the tab bar appears directly under the standard Windows title bar. When maximized, the title bar disappears and instead the tab bar is shown at the very top of the screen. Unlike other browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox which also have a full-screen mode that hides the operating system's interface completely, Chrome can only be maximized like a standard Windows applications. Therefore, the Windows task bar, system tray and start menu link still take space at all times unless they have been configured to always hide.

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Andrew Finkle said...

regarding "browser war" this is what it means to the competition:
Chrome will mean different things depending on who/what you are. The one thing it does mean to everyone though is that the Internet is the operating system, and the clouds are moving closer to earh.

You are Apple;

This means that if it were not enough of a conflict of interest (Iphone VS Google's Android) to have Google CEO Eric Schmidt sit on your board - It is now. Look for Schmidt to resign sometime in the next six months.

If you are Microsoft;

This means that if you ever considered making Internet Explorer open source in the past, now is the time... You can not afford to wait, not even another minute. Expect Microsoft to make Vaporware like noise over the next few months about cloud widgets to give IE closer ties to cloud based initiatives.

If you are Yahoo;

you need to buy Mozilla.

If you are Firefox;

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer...yes continue with your Google revenue deal, but learn how to monetize your Browser outside of a paid search deal. Leverage your large user base to form "spin-off" type "power of the crowd" businesses. Note to Firefox, hey you guys ARE a social just haven't figured that out yet.

If you are Sun;

Realize that Java is even less relevant every day. First we kicked you out of client side computing because you were a resource hog. Realize that Java will now continue to be less and less relevant on the Server. What a waste of a good company... McNealy must have got hit in the head with one to many hockey pucks.

If you are a social network;

"social networks" would follow along with users in the browser. Truth be told, we thought it would be Facebook, or even more likely Firefox that would lead in this initiative. So if you are a social network, you need to know now Chrome is the first step in a series of moves that will make it unnecessary for your peeeps to ever visit your site (directly) again.

If you are an application developer;

Life used to be simple, eh? You knew that you should be developing applications for Windows, because that is where the 100's of millions of users were. Fast forward, and now you need to choose what platforms to support, and when. Of course it makes sense to develop for Windows still, but Apple now has a mass of millions of Mac OSx users, and if it a browser based app, write once for Safari, and it should work without much adaptation on the Iphone. There are over a billion cell phones in use world wide, however every phone requires writing to separately (yes even all those different flavors of Java are different phone to phone. Suddenly with Android coming, and a matching desktop browser you need to be here.

Lastly if you are a consumer;

There is always a bottleneck somewhere ... Think back 5-10 years ago, before what we now refer to broadband... Dial up was painffulllllyy slow, and when you tried to browse, the bottleneck was in your "last mile" connectivity. Once you got broadband, the lag time in reaching a site was likely in your PC (not enough ram, slow processor, etc). Before either of those issues though it was the software that was not "smart" enough to keep up with the ever faster CPU's being created.

Look for Chrome to optimize all these new "cloud" based application initiatives like Google Gears, etc. This is just another nail in the coffin for desktop based computing. In 10 years, likely 90%+ of your applications will reside somewhere outside of your home or workplace - but certainly not on your desktop.

Abhijith Jain said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your comment and knowledgeable inputs. But why do you say Eric Schmidt may resign in next six months?

Abhijith Jain said...

Google chrome crash:

Open browser, enter :% (that is a colon followed by a percent sign) in the address bar.. Chrome just closes all tabs :(