UPDATED: Google dives head-first into browser wars with Chrome

In its latest step toward complete world domination, Google plans to unleash its own web browser upon the unwashed masses. Dubbed Chrome, the new open-source browser is coming soon for Windows—and Google has releases for Mac OS and Linux in the pipeline.

Rather than put out a press release or make Chrome available for download straight away, Google has elected to drum up publicity through a 38-page web comic that goes into a surprising amount of detail about the browser's design and features. Chrome apparently emphasizes tabbed browsing by placing tabs at the top of the window, and it makes each tab into a separate "process" in order to avoid memory leaks and improve stability.

At its core, Chrome will use render pages using the WebKit engine and handle JavaScript with a new engine called V8, which will "power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers." Google says it has pilfered components from Mozilla Firefox, as well. Mac users should know WebKit also powers Apple's Safari, so Chrome hopefully won't break compatibility with existing sites (including TR).

According to the official Google blog, a Chrome beta for Windows should be out some time today. For a little preview, you can view a batch of screenshots over at TechCrunch.

Update: Google has released the Google Chrome beta for Windows Vista and Windows XP. You can grab it from this page.

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