Google's Browser Plans
For several months, there's been a lot of buzz around Google's April 2004 registration of the gbrowser.com domain. After quite a while of digging, I believe I've managed to boil some truth out of the rumor stew. The Mozilla developers have been stone silent on the issue, aside from a few accidental slips, but several other sources have let loose other bits of information. Interestingly, there's either great confusion on the plans (or a highly partitioned project inside Google), or a good deal of misinformation. Trying to determine what's real and what's not is like making a Venn diagram. Each source is a circle filled with information. Some information is common to all or many circles, some information only comes from one source. you have to put all the circles together, and where they overlap is the most reliable information. So after weeks of analysis, this is where we think Gbrowser is headed. The overlap is looking like a Google branded and customized Firefox based browser. To help set it apart from the rest of the browser crowd, they're integrating a lot of their own technologies. Since Firefox does not contain a mail app, they're integrating Gmail for email access, with a built in new-mail notifier. Interestingly, mailto: urls will work with Gmail, allowing peple to click email links in pages and have Gmail open a new mail to that address, as well as IE-like buttons on the toolbar for composing new mail from scratch.