Whether it's Opera, Firefox, Safari, or even – and I'm feeling unclean as I say this – Internet Explorer, we all have our favourite web browsers but could our choices soon be about to change...
Interestingly, Google says – just like its standard Google homepage – Chrome will be very streamlined and simple with a clean UI and a primary focus of being the fastest browser available. From this base users will then be encouraged to build add-ons, Firefox style, to add features and functionality in virtually limitless ways.
Another extremely clever aspect of Chrome is every tabbed window will run in a sandbox – ie (pardon the phrase) in complete isolation – meaning a crash in one window will only affect it not cause the whole browser to go down in a ball of flames. This method should also provide greater protection from rogue sites.
Chrome beta 1 will appear at an unspecified time today so check back here for updates with links and screenshots. In the meantime Google has posted a comic book 'explaining' the browser - we kid you not. Smirks aside however this could be one of the biggest developments in the browser market for a number of years and I'm guessing will even make it onto Android handsets before too long.
Update: Here's the official and quite optimistic take of Opera on Chrome:
"Regarding Google's entry into the browser market, we believe in offering free choice of browsers and we welcome competition because it helps drive the Web forward and offers more robust choices for consumers.
Google has a new responsibility to make sure all browsers are supported by all their Web services. This will help protect free competition.
Google remains a strong partner to Opera. Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and our desktop browser all include Google as the default search. We are also working with them to bring Gears into our desktop and mobile products.
'As a matter of fact, we see that Google Chrome borrows many ideas from Opera such as Speed Dial, the placement of tabs and our Quick Find feature in the address bar. We will continue to innovate the same as we always have by keeping a relentless focus on the user and giving them the tools to make browsing safer, faster, more productive and more personal.'"
As you would expect Opera doesn't credit the genuinely new features in Chrome such as the sandboxed tabs but it just suggest civility will remain for the time being.
Update: The comic is actually amusing and informative (whodda thunk it?) so check it out.
Update 2: Get it while it's hot!