Quick facts on Google Chrome

Google has stealth-launched Chrome, a new open source browser, by sending a comic to a few journalists. Quick technical facts:

  • Based on Webkit, but using a custom regression and testing system.
  • OS-level address separation between the loaded sites/tabs. This is described as running multiple processes, so you get the full memory and system resources back after you close the tab.
  • Processes run inside a sandbox with varying trust levels for extra protection. The browser includes a process manager.
  • Since plugins cannot be sandboxed efectively they run inside a dedicated process .
  • A new Javascript virtual machine named V8. It does JIT compilation, it’s aware of object prototypes and has a strict, incremental garbage collector.
  • Google Gears is included by default.

On the user interface side:

  • The address bar is below the tab bar like in Opera.
  • Full drag and drop, detachable tabs like in Safari.
  • Fancy completion support in the address bar.
  • A tiled view for new, empty windows/tabs, similar to Opera.
  • Popups are launched in a minimized state inside the tab that created them, and can be dragged out when needed. This alone could be the killer feature for Chrome.

Update: official announcement of a beta version:

We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.