Here are my raw notes from the Google Chrome briefing. Walt Mossberg has a review up. Kara Swisher is going postal – pun intended she is liveblogging. GigaOm, Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, Wired, Cnet, NYTimes, Reuters, LA Times, ..all are here. I posted yesterday about this – it’s an operating system war.
Google founders came to meet and great the press and guys like me. Here are my notes from the event.
Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management, is giving an overview.
WebKit core technology behind android. Why Webkit? Speed.
Multiprocess architecture – hmm Intel will love this? Each tab has it’s own process.
Google is trying to ease the pain of users regarding crashes. Each tab on the browser has it’s own process so if there is a crash – one app crashes the entire browser doesn’t go down.
Security? Sandbox – each app is silo’d so apps can’t read/write across apps.
Underlying technology is good for apps. Because Google started from scratch
Stability Speed, and App support.
Chrome is designed for multiplatform but only windows at the moment. Mac and Linux coming soon. Day 1 Chrome is over 100 countries in 43 languages.
Fully open source – completely open source. Google is mining the best from open source and giving back via open source. Of course their backend is a service so there is no license issue. Google is building proprietary glue around open source code they selected – that is not available. That is Google’s IP. Developers win by leveraging new hooks. As Google advances so do the application and services developers.
Ben who is in charge of the UI – says that it’s not just a content viewer. Building on success of simplicity of the Google homepage. More of a window mgr for apps. Lightweight window. First thing was tab browsing – hmm navigation. Google’s bread and butter has been providing a great experience in providing navigation (to content and to ads).
Navigation is the key to design. The address bar is just the toolbar built into the address bar. Omnibox is the name of the Google address bar. Microsoft called it autosearch that’s been around for a while. Autosearch has been the target for navigation highjacking for years and now Google will own it. They renamed it but now its under Google’s control. No real innovation on address bar – it’s just autocomplete and search UI.
Chrome does have a nice feature what I call learning mode – where it sees what you do on your favorite sites – navigation choices are built into the address bar. Some sort of “metareasoning”. This shows Google’s focus on software innovation. Hope to see more of this kind of AI-lite functionality.
Bookmarks bring the search paradigm to site management and web service. Default homepage is the bookmark tabs. Kind of session restore as a default web page. Google is clear that they are not putting any Googles services embedded in the browser – hmm I don’t see it that way.
For the about time feature (meaning it’s about time someone did this) – It’s called Incognito mode (aka Porn mode): incognito window – all browsing will not be stored in browser history.
One goal of Chrome is to create the invisible browser. Example downloading content (e.g. music). Managing downloads is easy. Can interact with downloads even if they are still in process – ability to drag and drop while downloading (to desktop to a folder). The user experience is awesome independent of what is happening behind the scences (eg the download being completed)
Tab management. Love the drag and drop of tabs. For people who have many tabs open this is a dream.
Darren Fisher, tech lead for Chrome, talks about what’s under the hood. Biggest problem is the browser crashing to take down the entire browser session (all tabs). Point here is that browsing web pages is over. We are really browsing (or interacting) with applications – web services like gmail, media site,. etc
Multiprocess architecture is the heart of the design. Secuirty benefits come from this architecture – Sandbox – strips down all privilege to nothing but browsing. No way for bad guys to get in – separating the rendering engine from the process for the application adds a layer of security.
Task manager shows each tab as a process. If a page hangs the tabs stay available to manage the rest of the pages.
Plugins – 3rd party either Netscape style or native. Code is open source.
Performance – static content and dynamic content
Lars Bach – web tech lead presents v8. brand new engine – take care of the future of web applications. Virtual machine expertise. This guy Lars is excited who wouldn’t be Google is pouring some serious computer science into delivering on this mission.
Question that i didn’t get to ask: what is the dependence on windows? I remember the old saying at msft years ago – job not done til lotus doesn’t run. What will msft do now – job not done til Chrome doesn’t run
Chrome code is at code.google.com is available on open source basis.
Sergey said: Over two years of work – not a me-too browser but something completely different – This is a paradigm shift.
Larry is talking about the comp science effort – many google employees have been using it for a long time.
I get the feeling like this is Google’s Moon Shot. Tons of passion by the founders on this project.
I asked the question on video user experience – no answer on video innovation in this browser beta – they said that this first rev is about getting webkit done right and the basic innovation and superior user experience. Video advances will come later or from a 3rd party via a plug in.
End of the session