Google celebrates 3 years of Chrome

2011-09-02 10:23

Cape Town - Google is celebrating the third anniversary of the launch of the Chrome browser.

"If you look at the number of active users around the world, it has also grown - we have 160 million active users and I think there's a small celebration. I think we'll have cake," Lars Bak, one of the key men behind Google Chrome told News24 from Denmark.

He said that the browser market was "stagnant" when Google approached him and Chrome was built to improve three critical areas: Performance, simplicity and security.

"The main purpose of this browser was to spark innovation into the whole browser industry."

Chrome was released in 2008 and according to, is the fastest growing browser, growing to 23% of users in August 2011.


"We sent out the beta version in 2008 and it was already very fast at that point and we've improved it since. But you can also see all the browser vendors have been investing a lot in performance of the browser and most browsers today are incredibly fast compared to three, four years ago," Bak.

When the Chrome browser d├ębuted, it broke with tradition and used a minimalist interface. Bak said that this was desgined so that the user could focus on the web rather than the application.

Security was a key concern, especially given that the browser is open source so anybody can see how it is built or download the source code.

"When you create a new tab, the tab will run in a separate process without any privileges. So it means that even if you break the first level of security in the browser, you are still sitting in a 'sandbox' - you cannot touch the underlying operating system," said Bak.

There is competition in the browser market and Microsoft's once dominant Internet Explorer is rapidly losing market share while Chrome accelerates.

There are also desktop browsers like Safari and Opera which enjoy a smaller following.

Google doesn't see the competition as a threat to its position.

Shared technology

"We would welcome diversity in that field because competition will help the user get a better experience when browsing the web.

"For us, it's not taking away something from the rest, it's basically adding to the industry," Bak said.

He said that the mobile and desktop browsers share some technology, but that a merge between the two is still some way off.

"The two browsers are actually sharing more technology than you expect. For instance, the renderer called WebKit is the same; the V8 Java Script engine we developed here is also part of the Android platform.

"So we are sharing bigger parts behind the scenes of the two browsers and more will come, but you also have to understand that the user interface for a mobile application is very different from the user interface for a desktop application and that has to be solved in a proper way too."

Bak who works with a small team, said that the development of the browser was ongoing and despite success, there was still much do to.

"Even though we've been in the market for three years, we're not done yet."

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  • I Like Everything - 2011-09-02 10:33

    I like Chrome. Especially incognito mode.

      kidblack - 2011-09-02 11:07

      CHROME FTW. From a developer perspective its the fastest, most forward thinking, debug capable browser in existence. Frankly... i dont know why EVERYONE is not using

      Witsie101 - 2011-09-02 17:37

      Maybe if they develop more plug-ins for it I'd consider using it. Until then, I'll stick with Firefox

  • BlackPoison - 2011-09-02 10:35

    Still prefer Firefox

  • popaye - 2011-09-02 10:47

    Chrome is fast? Dream on! It's the same as Firefox in speed but much poorer in virsatility. WHERE are the bookmarks in Chrome? You can search for them for many minutes and still not find them. No, I'll stick to Firefox thanks. Chrome is just too flaky.

      Brandon - 2011-09-02 11:07

      All I did was move my eyes up to the top of Chrome and saw my bookmarks :/ I always hear browser blaming when it's actually the user at fault. I've run a few tests at opening Firefox and Chrome at the same time. The result? I've already searched and found what I'm looking for with Google on Chrome before Firefox had even opened...

      kidblack - 2011-09-02 11:08

      i dunno what you are smoking... but the FF codebase is almost twice as big, and 1/3 as efficient as Chrome.

      Brandon - 2011-09-02 11:11 Need more proof?

  • Witsie101 - 2011-09-02 10:58

    All hail Firefox!!!

      Fudge321 - 2011-09-02 12:01

      And you are reading this article.. why?

  • Colin Dovey - 2011-09-02 11:04

    Chrome crashes far too much - I, and many others have now turned to Maxthon - MUCH better for resource sniffing, page capture and a LOT more - also does not crash!

      kidblack - 2011-09-02 11:09

      Chrome doesn't crash on a stable system. But yes, Maxthon is rather good init.

      Ben Fowler - 2011-09-02 11:18

      I have never had Chrome crash. Never. My firefox crash regularly. The only reason why I have FF on my PC is because there is a couple of extensions not available in Chrome yet. I guess it depends on your system and setup why I experience FF crashes and you experience Chrome crashes. Google's success scares me but I am drawn like a moth to flame by their products. In my view it is superior. I feel that all Google users must just be conscious about privacy. That actually goes for all internet users.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-09-02 11:47

    Chrome is as close to perfect as browsing gets

  • TRiP - 2011-09-02 11:56

    Chrome is by far superior than the lot. As a developer I love my FF which is what i use for all my dev work, but on personal surfing and usage, Chrome is king! I'm really looking forward to future releases! And for all you schmucks dissing Chrome and FF, stick to that piece of junk IE.. you most likely have over loaded your browser with too many plugins. On the topic of IE, Microsoft should just give up on browsers - they should put all their code in a box, give it to NASA and expunge it into space!

      Fudge321 - 2011-09-02 12:02

      IE is the number one browser... for downloading other browsers.

      TRiP - 2011-09-02 12:04

      Fudge321, perhaps if you use Winentendo has you OS of choice.

  • Stryder - 2011-09-02 13:21

    Not comfortable using Chrome for banking and other card transactions. other than that it is very quick. Firefox is still my favourite however it has become slower and slower in recent months. Almost as slow as IE 8 now. (Yes still on XP).

  • TSaR - 2011-09-02 21:52

    Fudge123@12:02. I agree with you that IE is perfect to download other browsers with. Chrome is excellent. Well done Google!

  • Jon Vader - 2011-09-03 10:49

    Firefox is the best browser by far, I love using it!

  • trev2 - 2011-09-03 11:11

    I like Google Chrome and usually use it, but I wish it would work with Shockwave Flash. It usually does not work and shows a sad face in a jigsaw puzzle piece. When this happens I have to use Internet Explorer.

  • lee.farrington - 2011-09-03 18:25

    I was a firefix fan, but it is too damn slow. Now using chrome and flying. BTW there are bookmarks if you look

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