Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A new take on the browser

Things are really getting interesting in the 2nd Browser Wars. FireFox was the browser that heralded the start of this 2nd War. Now, we've got Apple's Safari and... Google's Chrome in the mix, too!

According to their web comic, Chrome's rendering engine is WebKit powered. That's the same engine powering Safari, isn't it? I can never quite tell by the explanation on WebKit's site :-P

The downside? It's WinXP/Vista only, at least for the time being. Maybe Google will release a Linux version later. Or, maybe not since WebKit is an open source engine which means any of the current open source browsers could switch over if they wanted. Otherwise, the open source community would just hatch a new browser using WebKit, if they feel the need for it.

After taking Chrome for a short drive, I'd say this browser has potential. Not only is it very lightweight, it's also redefined the browser. It's user interface rids itself of many unnecessary "features" most browsers have. There's no menu bar, the status bar only shows when there's something it needs to show you (like the status of the currently loading page, for example), the address bar is also a Google search bar. It even has a "incognito" mode for when you don't want it to remember certain browsing history (private browsing).

It can even create online application shortcuts on your desktop for you to access as if it were an actual app running on your machine. Hmm... doesn't that sound like Mozilla's Prism?