This post has been updated.
We believe Kara Swisher of the All Things Digital blog was first to pick up on Google's official announcement: Chrome is real. Earlier today Swisher also had the first confirmation from sources that the launch of the browser was imminent. It's not an elaborate hoax. It's a bona fide product and it will be available for download Tuesday. We'll have a hands-on review as soon as we get some time to explore the product.
So why the mystery? Human error, it appears. According to the official Google blog, "At Google, we have a saying: 'launch early and iterate.' While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit 'send' a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open-source browser..."
Our previous coverage: Google 'starting from scratch' with own browser, Chrome.
Here's the full announcement, from the Google blog:
A fresh take on the browser
9/01/2008 02:10:00 PM
At Google, we have a saying: "launch early and iterate." While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.
So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.
All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.
On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.
This is just the beginning -- Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust.
We owe a great debt to many open source projects, and we're committed to continuing on their path. We've used components from Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox, among others -- and in that spirit, we are making all of our code open source as well. We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward.
The web gets better with more options and innovation. Google Chrome is another option, and we hope it contributes to making the web even better.
So check in again tomorrow to try Google Chrome for yourself. We'll post an update here as soon as it's ready.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director