Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.
The story behind Google Chrome
Watch a video from the development team on the thinking and features behind Google Chrome.
Watch the video
Read about the technology
Look under the hood of Google Chrome in this comics interpretation of key engineering decisions, by Scott McCloud.
Read the book
Google Chrome is a free web browser developed by Google. The name is derived from the graphical user interface frame, or "chrome", of web browsers. Chromium is the name of the open source project behind Google Chrome, released under the BSD license. It is feature-complete compared to Chrome, but the user interface is less polished.
A beta version for Microsoft Windows was released on 2 September 2008 in 43 languages.
The release announcement was originally scheduled for 3 September 2008, and a comic by Scott McCloud was to be sent to journalists and bloggers explaining the features of and motivations for the new browser. Copies intended for Europe were shipped early and German blogger Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped made a scanned copy of the 38-page comic available on his website after receiving it on 1 September 2008. Google subsequently made the comic available on Google Books and their site and mentioned it on its official blog along with an explanation for the early release.
A beta version for Microsoft Windows (XP and later only) was released on 2 September 2008 in 43 languages. Mac OS X and Linux versions are under development.
On 2 September, a CNET news item drew attention to a passage in the terms of service for the initial beta release, which seemed to grant to Google a license to all content transferred via the Chrome browser.The passage in question was inherited from the general Google terms of service.The Register summarized the passage as "Your copyright goes up in smoke." On the same day, Google responded to this criticism by stating that the language used was borrowed from other products, and removed the passage in question from the Terms of Service. Google noted that this change would "apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome." There were subsequent concerns about the browser's use of an unusual tracking feature that sends information about visited websites back to Google. The company stated that this is only enabled when users opt in by checking the option "help make Google Chrome better by automatically sending usage statistics and crash reports to Google" when installing the browser.
The first release of Google Chrome passed the Acid1 and Acid2 tests. While it has not yet passed the Acid3 test, Google Chrome scored 78/100—higher than both Internet Explorer 7 (14/100) and Firefox 3 (71/100), but lower than Opera's 84/100. When compared to equivalent "preview" or beta builds, Chrome scored lower than Firefox (85/100), Opera (91/100), and Safari (100/100), but still higher than Internet Explorer (21/100).
On 15 September 2008, CodeWeavers released an unofficial bundle of a WINE derivative and Chromium Developer Build 21 for Linux and Mac OS X, which they dubbed "CrossOver Chromium". An unofficial workaround for use with Windows 2000 is also available.