At A fresh take on the browser (Official Google Blog), the Google team writes about Chrome, their WebKit-based web-browser:
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.
Because it is based on the WebKit it already has been proven for mobile…
And Chrome source code is available as an open source project called Chromium (BSD license). See Chromium’s open source project web site.
The team also put together a very cool comic book that explains Chrome, the rationale behind it, including (design) features.
Google is not only providing compelling web-based applications (and the back-end infrastructure to deliver these), but with Chrome, Google is also providing the application delivery channel itself, the web-browser, with all the features needed to ensure web-based apps are functional, appealing (good experience), robust, connected and disconnected, and secure.
…Google is covering all the bases for the new desktop OS, the web OS, similarly to how Google is covering all the based for the new mobile OS, the Android OS.
Over time, will desktop OSes become irrelevant? It sure looks like it. Will the same happen to mobile OSes? Potentially, but only once the Web-runtimes provides the necessary access to the handset’s local functionality.
See Google Chrome, Chromium, and V8 launch today (Google Code Blog).