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Google-branded Firefox?

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the seems-pretty-likely dept.

Google 355

arpy writes "An article on Mozillanews.org is reporting on Google's registration of the domain GBrowser.com (nothing to look at there yet). The article provides a summary of rumours that Google will release a branded version of Mozilla Firefox (along with some interesting speculation)."

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Been there, done that (Dupe) (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625486)

Re:Been there, done that (Dupe) (5, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625598)

Slightly condensed version of the article summary: "An article on Mozillanews.org is reporting on [old news]. The article provides [rumours] along with [speculation]."

Way to go!

The next logical step (5, Interesting)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625487)

There's also a lot of 'covert' code going into the tree without individual bug references
It's interesting that Mozilla developers would check in code for Google employees (if this is, in fact, what's really happening). Why would Google need to keep a "low profile" in all this?

Anyway, I sorta saw it coming. Google is investing heavily in JavaScript-powered desktop-like web apps like Gmail and Blogger. Google could then use their expertise to build Mozilla apps. It'll be interesting to see whether this happens or not.

Re:The next logical step (5, Insightful)

Arghdee (813921) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625523)

I'd like to see them build official extensions to the Mozilla platform, rather than rebrand Firefox.

Give the consumers more choice!

Re:The next logical step (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625800)

Google could then use their expertise to build Mozilla apps. It'll be interesting to see whether this happens or not.

Yeah, imagine a Gmail web interface built with XUL. Something like this [willden.org] , but built with Google simplicity, speed and style.

Disclaimer: The link goes to a copy of xulwebmail [mozdev.org] on my web server sitting on my cable modem. If it gets hammered too hard I'll take it down. Also, note that I don't think xulwebmail actually works, so don't bother typing your real e-mail account and password. Still, use mozilla or firefox and take a look at it if you haven't seen it before. It certainly looks like it could be a very cool way to do webmail... and lots of other stuff, too.

GNAA RULZ FRANCE!!! (-1, Offtopic)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625490)

GNAA rulz france!! With the introduction of pinktv [pinktv.fr] the GNAA european council has successfully achieved its goal of introducing quasi-lesbian american tv shows from the 1970's [designerz.com] into french society. A 30 year program GNAA operatives recruited in the slums of detroit, raised on wonder woman and later trained in the infiltration of french bungholes in the slums of Cameroon, has finally born "fruit".

Re:GNAA RULZ FRANCE!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625529)

Piss poor showing. Your post is 3rd. You should be ashamed.

a copycat search engine with a copycat browser (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625491)

Yes, the tech has all been done before, although by companies that people don't think are Not Evil enough. Sorry.

Maybe search? (4, Insightful)

Harbinjer (260165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625494)

Could the hirings of the browser people be just to integrate desktop search better with current existing browers? That does sound more likely to me.

Re:Maybe search? (2, Informative)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625583)

The idea of a browser must have been at least discussed for gbrowser.com to have been registered by them...

Registrant:
Google Inc.
(DOM-1278108)
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View
CA
94043
US

Domain Name: gbrowser.com


Re:Maybe search? (2, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625773)

If this "silent code checkins" story is true, two candidates come to my mind:
a) improved Google Desktop Search compat with Firefox
b) some form of Alchemy code (Adam Bosworth is working at Google and has some neat ideas about making the browser smarter about working offline)

What beats me is why ANY major changes would occur before a 1.0 ship. Both (a) and (b) are things that could be done in Firefox 1.1, which is why I'm sceptical about this whole silent checkins thing.

Hmmm.... (1, Interesting)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625500)

Could be a great future hub for a massive range of "Stinkin Microsoft" killer mozilla apps too.

Death to MS Explorer!

Re:Hmmm.... (3, Insightful)

Scoria (264473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625571)

Competition often provides an impetus to remain benevolent. If Google were to successfully conquer Microsoft, then what impetus would they possess to remain benevolent? Google is now a publicly traded corporation, and "Don't be evil!" may not last.

Re:Hmmm.... (1, Insightful)

polecat_redux (779887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625770)

Considering that both the Google toolbar and the Google Desktop (and gmail notifier) apps are only for Windows, I'd say a Google-branded version of IE would be more likely.

What would be the point? (0, Troll)

Liquiddarknessvi (758831) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625503)

Why would they want to do that?

Google-branded FP? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625509)

Or Google-branded troll?

Alright, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625510)

When do we slashbots start hating google for becoming too big?

Re:Alright, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625558)

When they start spreading lies about open source.

Re:Alright, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625579)

When do we slashbots start hating google for becoming too big?

I don't think it's the being big so much as abusing power when they get that way. Microsoft might not be such a bad company if it didn't use its weight to destroy competition.

Let's just hope Google stays nice :)

Re:Alright, (1)

gonzo (son of colin) (825278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625600)

Aslong as their services stay free and they concentrate on quality I love em.

Re:Alright, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625671)

Aslong as their services stay free and they concentrate on quality I love em.

Microsoft?

Re:Alright, (1)

gonzo (son of colin) (825278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625784)

Windows isnt free or of high quality. I was talking about google.

Re:Alright, (1)

DeathByDuke (823199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625630)

when they make a insecure, buggy OS?

Re:Alright, (4, Interesting)

colmore (56499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625672)

>When do we slashbots start hating google for becoming too big?

When the google browser is no longer open and has a 90% market share.

From our perspective, this is a little silly, and more than a little opportunistic on google's part.

But in the big picture, this will do a lot to put a brand name on an Explorer killer. And google seems to be pretty good at making usable internet products, so I'm giving all of this a tentative thumbs-up. Anything that gets the lusers to not think of the blue e as "the internet" is good by me.

Not that anyone ever cares to ask me, mind you.

Re:Alright, (1)

typhoonius (611834) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625750)

One minute [slashdot.org] .

Re:Alright, (5, Funny)

M00TP01NT (596278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625806)

Never say that you "hate" Google.

When Google becomes self-aware, I'd prefer not to be known as a Google-hater.

Re:Alright, (1)

FireBook (593941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625811)

when their actions start being unfair, immoral, illegal, and predatory maybe?

Everyone say it with me.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625511)

DUPE!

Re:Everyone say it with me.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625559)

DUPE

Re:Everyone say it with me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625617)

funny... very funny.

Not just a browser (5, Interesting)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625521)

Why have an OS when you could use Google's servers to send and receive email (GMail), navigate the web (GBrowser), search the web (Google.com) store your files (GMail Drive utility), and search your hard drive (Google Desktop utility)? What next, Google IM?

Re:Not just a browser (1)

Arghdee (813921) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625551)

If you RTFA you'll see that there is mention of a Google IM...

Need Google games! [nt] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625566)

nt

Re:Not just a browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625578)

If you didn't have an OS, why would you need to search your hard drive in the first place?

Re:Not just a browser (2, Insightful)

ryanmfw (774163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625657)

That's like asking, "Why have a monitor when our speakers are so wonderful?" Because the OS is a necessary part of the computer. None of those things run without one. But! Maybe Google will be coming out with an OS. They have a now commonplace name, and they have the skills. Maybe they'll produce a Linux distro.

Re:Not just a browser (5, Insightful)

pdboddy (620164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625783)

Actually, you have a great idea there. What's Linux's major drawback? The perception that you can't just insert a CD, and it'll install itself perfectly. Or that it's too difficult to do if you don't know everything to know about Linux. If Google were to produce a Linux distro, that distro would have the weight of Google's name, plus anything that came bundled with the would *likely* work properly (less flaws, more filling) as they do have decent coders who know their stuff, and they have the capability to create a desktop environment with search, email, blogging (and more) right at your fingertips. Add to the fact that Google seems to be a) Less Evil Than The Other Guys(TM) and b) willing to take a steady-as-she-goes approach. We'd end up with an OS that wasn't half assed, chock full of coding holes nor equipped with stuff we couldn't uninstall (ie. IE!). Go Google!

Re:Not just a browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625787)

Why the fuck would I want a google linux distro? Conversely, why would Google want a google linux distro? It would make (much) more sense for them to produce a Google Window Manager for the popular package formats, if only so that they have a standard platform for a gmail notifier, &c.

I don't think that's going to happen soon either - Windows people want things like auto-search; Linux people want to "mount -t google:user:pass /mnt/gigdrive". In the very long term, Google might try to give linux a desktop, but this would be a radical departure from their only-real-product-so-far, which is statistical text analysis for information retrieval and ad placement. It's a lot less sexy when you actually think about what they're doing.

Re:Not just a browser (3, Interesting)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625805)

That's like asking, "Why have a monitor when our speakers are so wonderful?" Because the OS is a necessary part of the computer. None of those things run without one. But! Maybe Google will be coming out with an OS. They have a now commonplace name, and they have the skills. Maybe they'll produce a Linux distro.

Although not stated, I believe the parent poster meant "Why bother with os and native apps, when you can access this from anywhere on any computer". Essentially taking the brain out of the box, and putting it availlabe from everywhere on the network.

Not that I think that's going to happen, but a lot of hosted apps are coming to fruition every day. E-mail was one that exploded quickly, I don't believe that word processing and spreadsheet are that far behind.

Why do things online? Easier to upgrade, install the upgrade on the server and you are done.

Re:Not just a browser (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625661)

The 1 GB limitation....

Google (1, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625524)

All good things come to an end?

Re:Google (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625725)

I think what you meant to say was: "All good things [yahoo.com] come to an end."

Only be a good think (5, Interesting)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625536)

If this gets Firefox on more desktops, replacing IE it can only be a good thing for standards compliance, competition and the decline of the IE monoculture.

I'm still strugling to think why they would want to do this, perhaps that have some cool XUL applications in the offering.

Re:Only be a good think (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625699)

I'm still strugling to think why they would want to do this

It's called "investors" ... or at least part of it, I bet. Besides just being "google" - they have to give investors reason to believe the company will grow and succeed.

Re:Only be a good think (1)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625771)

I think they're doing just fine in that department... their stock went up almost 15 points today...
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=goog [yahoo.com]

And? (5, Interesting)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625544)

I worked for a company that registered every single one of about 2000 variants we could think of for the domain name.

One of those domains was "(companyname)lovesjesus".

I wish I were kidding.

Anyway, it only makes sense for Google to do the same.

I will, however say that I would gladly give up the left nuts of all those within 100 miles of me for a version of FireFox that had what this Google Fangirl thinks would be the Alpha and Omega of browsers.

Well... (5, Funny)

pokeyburro (472024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625601)

FWIW, googlelovesjesus.com is available [networksolutions.com] .

At least for the next few seconds.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625609)

I hope they c0de it in javascript like their 'leet mail service. Then I can just run it from IE without a download.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625665)


I will, however say that I would gladly give up the left nuts of all those within 100 miles of me for a version of FireFox that had what this Google Fangirl thinks would be the Alpha and Omega of browsers.

(emphasis mine)

How hard is it to give up what isn't yours in the first place? That's like me saying I'd gladly take the virginity of teenagers within 100 miles of me for Windows to stop crashing.

Mmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625734)

Virgin teenagers! I gotta get me some some of that!

Re:And? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625775)

How hard is it to give up what isn't yours in the first place? That's like me saying I'd gladly take the virginity of teenagers within 100 miles of me for Windows to stop crashing.

Well, duh - I'm a *lazy* fangirl.

Tell you what, though - if they can make it render /. appropriately and they'll buy me a nice dinner, I'll gladly give up what could only ironically be called my virginity.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625681)

I was at a software development tools company that registered "(companyname)baseball.com" and many hundreds of others equally stupid.

I also heard my previous company's CFO tell the web guys to buy "(companyname).cx", "(companyname).to", "(companyname).za", etc. "so the competitors don't get them".

Re:And? (5, Funny)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625686)

You said too much... [netcraft.com]

Re:And? (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625763)

Might be correct.... [netcraft.com]

Re:And? (3, Funny)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625797)

You said too much...

I will neither confirm nor deny that I worked for any of the companies or individuals in that list.

I will only say that this was at the birth of the .com boom, so it is possible the company is no longer listed as the doman may or may not have lapsed.

Maybe.

Screwy html (2, Informative)

arpy (587497) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625545)

The html got messed up somewhere along the line. Here's my original submission:

An article [mozillanews.org] on Mozillanews.org [mozillanews.org] is reporting on Google's [google.com] registration [whois.net] of the domain Gbrowser.com [gbrowser.com] (nothing to look at there yet). The article provides a summary of rumours that Google will release a branded version of Mozilla Firefox [mozilla.org] (along with some interesting speculation).

Re:Screwy html (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625623)

Yah. I e-mailed them from The Mysterious Past, but they didn't fix it.

Pure speculation (4, Insightful)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625546)

OK, this story is pure speculation.

But if it turns out to be real, will they be able to gain a significant market share? Against IE and the rising Mozilla-based FireFox? To me, it seems that IE get all the non-techy people love, and Firefox gets the geeks... They better implement some VERY nice features, because the Google name alone won't make me switch for sure. And I LOVE Google.

Re:Pure speculation (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625610)

It might not make you switch, but it will make Joe Blow switch.

Most people haven't heard of Mozilla (insert rant about screwy open-source project names here), but they sure as hell have heard of (and trust) Google.

Re:Pure speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625632)

Agreed. But Joe Blow also heard of Microsoft (IE) and (scary Halloween sponsored part) trust them too.

Re:Pure speculation (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625685)

I just don't want google to gain like 95% market share with GBrowser, and then put in google-only features and stuff like what MS has done with IE in the past. Sure they might not mean for it to hurt other browsers, but when you control the browser, and your business is internet appliations, it would be hard to resist.

Re:Pure speculation (1)

gonzo (son of colin) (825278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625642)

Most people just have IE because they have no major angsts with it, or because they dont realise theres alternatives.

Come on... (0)

MastaBaba (530286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625550)

... Google? That's a search engine!

for in case it gets slashdotted: (4, Funny)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625555)

For in case the article gets slashdotted, here is the full text:
Warning: mysql_pconnect(): Too many connections in /web/virtuals/mozillanews.org/db_config.inc.php3 on line 2

Database is not availiable

Re:for in case it gets slashdotted: (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625706)

Why hasn't the pconnect saved it? Persistent connections, no?

Re:for in case it gets slashdotted: (1)

oldmildog (533046) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625712)

Haha! Man I wish comments could be modded higher than 5.

Re:for in case it gets slashdotted: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625751)

Yeah, since nobody's ever done this joke before...

mysql_pconnect (4, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625777)

And that's the problem with mysql_pconnect [php.net] , IMHO... I recommend using mysql_connect [php.net] because if you get slashdotted, at least the connections are not persistent (meaning you get more of them). I was slashdotted [slashdot.org] a while ago and my code held up using mysql_connect();

They are definitely up to something (2, Informative)

XST1 (824817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625556)

WHOIS on GBrowser.com

Registrant:
Google Inc.
(DOM-1278108)
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View
CA
94043
US

Domain Name: gbrowser.com

Administrative Contact:
DNS Admin
(NIC-1467103)
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View
CA
94043
US
dns-admin@google.com
+1.6503300100
Fax- +1.6506188571

Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
DNS Admin
(NIC-1467103)
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View
CA
94043
US
dns-admin@google.com
+1.6503300100
Fax- +1.6506188571

Created on..............: 2004-Apr-26.
Expires on..............: 2006-Apr-26.
Record last updated on..: 2004-Apr-26 16:46:39.

already slashdotted... FULL TEXT (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625560)

Google's Browser Plans
October 19th, 2004 - jesus_x
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. While this is pure speculation, it's speculation based on a wide variety of facts gathered over the past three months. Feel free to take it with a generous helping of salt.

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.

Newsgroups will be built in similar to Gmail with the Google Groups service, and possibly the ability to select groups to watch, like in a full fledged newsreader (like Mozilla Thunderbird). And Google News will also have built in access from the browser along with Google Alerts or a similar, RSS-based feature.

Other features include better search integration, with the extra features such as Image Searching by right clicking on an image or selected word. As Silicon.com found there is also a Google branded IM service on the way as well, and could be a Jabber or rebranded AIM also coming bundled with the browser.

There are other, extra-browser features that will most likely come with it, and tie into the browser, such as Google Desktop Search, Picasa (with links to the browser for web-related sharing, searching, etc.), and Google Toolbar features that IE users currently enjoy.

Also, Google loves the recently aquired Blogger, and will have built in linkage to Blogger and rich-editing tools, making Blogger a highly integrated feature, with the ability to blog links and web-content as easily as using their integrated GMail features.

As I stated, Mozilla.org and Mozilla developers have been very quiet on all of this. But with such an open organization, it's hard to hide all secrets. There have been a lot of hidden bugs in Bugzilla related to searching, bugs that even members of the Security group can't access. Recently, there was a bug duplicated to a confidential bug with the following comment by the triager: "This is a duplicate of a private bug about working with Google. So closing this one." That bug also now closed, but it was open long enouch for people to notice it.

There's also a lot of 'covert' code going into the tree without individual bug references. And none of these patches are being checked in by Google staff, but by other Mozilla developers, ostensibly checking in code for Google employees to keep a low profile. None of this is Google-exclusive, per se, as much as it is code that one could easily see as making life easier for a third party developer making heavy integration changes. the checking comments are usually very technically described, possibly to obfuscate their use to the majority of watchers to maintain the secret. Example

Exactly how all this is being tied together is not clear, although one could easily assume they're making use of their own Google Webservice APIs. Google hired a number of developers from various walks of technological life, including Java developers. The potential links to Java are unclear still. I haven't been able to get any word on that at all, and it's highly possible they're just talented developers, hired for other projects.

Lastly, it's been a very odd experience trying to tie together these details. It's been difficult to get clear information on the various features. They did recently acknowledge browser related work, but Google is a notoriously tight lipped company. One thing is certain, it's going to be very interesting when they draw open the curtain.

Why not simple (1)

leperkuhn (634833) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625565)

They really just might release firefox with a google theme. Since there already is a google search bar, it's not that complex of an idea.

Not a good thing (5, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625567)

Introducing secrecy into the coding group is a bad thing whatever the project, but working on something on the scale of Firefox without knowing where the project is headed? Thats a receipe for disaster.. One of the good things about Firefox has been the transparency with which the developers have worked so far. Its easy to know whats going on.

Whats more, there are one or two of us out here that don't want a myriad of features specifically oriented to one corporation. I'd be more than happy with Google producing a line of Google plugins and extensions, but coding them into the browser itself? That sort of thing leads to code forks... and thats not a good thing for the Firefox project on the whole.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625576)

In Soviet Russia (5, Funny)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625589)

Google Browses you!

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625647)

Damn, Nikolaj, you're right:

access_log: crawl-66-249-64-181.googlebot.com - [25/Oct/2004:02:52:11 +0200] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 3637

I feel so... used

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

confusedneutrino (732640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625741)

My desktop is Soviet Russia, then...

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625749)

I am sure it is happenning (your email at least) in the Soviet (with all the internal passports, DMCAs etc.) United States too.

Good news (1)

mekanizer (823259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625592)

Good news, Explorer was becoming Holexploiter, after being Exploiter and Exploder. Microsoft uses it as another scare tactic to force people to upgrade.

Already close to die with mysql warnings (0, Redundant)

daniel23 (605413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625612)

so before it finally goes down to its knees, here is the text:

Google's Browser Plans
October 19th, 2004 - jesus_x
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. While this is pure speculation, it's speculation based on a wide variety of facts gathered over the past three months. Feel free to take it with a generous helping of salt.

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.

Newsgroups will be built in similar to Gmail with the Google Groups service, and possibly the ability to select groups to watch, like in a full fledged newsreader (like Mozilla Thunderbird). And Google News will also have built in access from the browser along with Google Alerts or a similar, RSS-based feature.

Other features include better search integration, with the extra features such as Image Searching by right clicking on an image or selected word. As Silicon.com found there is also a Google branded IM service on the way as well, and could be a Jabber or rebranded AIM also coming bundled with the browser.

There are other, extra-browser features that will most likely come with it, and tie into the browser, such as Google Desktop Search, Picasa (with links to the browser for web-related sharing, searching, etc.), and Google Toolbar features that IE users currently enjoy.

Also, Google loves the recently aquired Blogger, and will have built in linkage to Blogger and rich-editing tools, making Blogger a highly integrated feature, with the ability to blog links and web-content as easily as using their integrated GMail features.

As I stated, Mozilla.org and Mozilla developers have been very quiet on all of this. But with such an open organization, it's hard to hide all secrets. There have been a lot of hidden bugs in Bugzilla related to searching, bugs that even members of the Security group can't access. Recently, there was a bug duplicated to a confidential bug with the following comment by the triager: "This is a duplicate of a private bug about working with Google. So closing this one." That bug also now closed, but it was open long enouch for people to notice it.

There's also a lot of 'covert' code going into the tree without individual bug references. And none of these patches are being checked in by Google staff, but by other Mozilla developers, ostensibly checking in code for Google employees to keep a low profile. None of this is Google-exclusive, per se, as much as it is code that one could easily see as making life easier for a third party developer making heavy integration changes. the checking comments are usually very technically described, possibly to obfuscate their use to the majority of watchers to maintain the secret. Example

Exactly how all this is being tied together is not clear, although one could easily assume they're making use of their own Google Webservice APIs. Google hired a number of developers from various walks of technological life, including Java developers. The potential links to Java are unclear still. I haven't been able to get any word on that at all, and it's highly possible they're just talented developers, hired for other projects.

Lastly, it's been a very odd experience trying to tie together these details. It's been difficult to get clear information on the various features. They did recently acknowledge browser related work, but Google is a notoriously tight lipped company. One thing is certain, it's going to be very interesting when they draw open the curtain.

We've got money now! (3, Insightful)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625634)

So let's branch off into 800 money-losing "businesses" and flush a pile of cash the size of Nebraska down a shithole so someone can stand up in a meeting and look brilliant by saying "I think we should return to our core business."

Then we can start the layoffs.

Re:We've got money now! (3, Informative)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625736)

Your comment might be correct, if not for the fact that very few (if any) of Google's ventures have been money-losing.

Re:We've got money now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625785)

Yes, Google Sets, Google Compute, Google Deskbar that ask and expert thing have all be real money spinners. You Google fanboys need to get a grip.

Next thing you know... (5, Funny)

ICECommander (811191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625639)

Google will bundle an OS with their search engine

GOO/Firefox on GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625649)

I see a new partnership between RMS and Google.

"GOO/Firefox on GNU/Linux"

And if it runs on gnome, everything'll be prefixed "GGG"

Google still dosent have a single non-windows app. (2, Insightful)

dwipal (709116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625650)

Google-Toolbar, Google-Desktop, Picassa, etc. etc. etc...but everything windoze. I would simply love the google-desktop for linux or mac.. may be, so firefox might be *sortof* an answer.

google desktop runs a webserver on the localhost which the browser connects to, so u can always use google desktop of ur windows machine from the linux machine and do stuff like that.

sigh (1)

DeathByDuke (823199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625658)

another name for firefox now. what is it this time? GoogFox?, Foxle?, how about IEDIE?

How about Googlebird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625756)

instead of Googlefox.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625768)

How about GBrowser?

Getting slow (-1, Redundant)

Swamii (594522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625660)

Getting slow, Google cache here [64.233.167.104] .

Full text:

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. While this is pure speculation, it's speculation based on a wide variety of facts gathered over the past three months. Feel free to take it with a generous helping of salt.

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.

Newsgroups will be built in similar to Gmail with the Google Groups service, and possibly the ability to select groups to watch, like in a full fledged newsreader (like Mozilla Thunderbird). And Google News will also have built in access from the browser along with Google Alerts or a similar, RSS-based feature.

Other features include better search integration, with the extra features such as Image Searching by right clicking on an image or selected word. As Silicon.com found there is also a Google branded IM service on the way as well, and could be a Jabber or rebranded AIM also coming bundled with the browser.

There are other, extra-browser features that will most likely come with it, and tie into the browser, such as Google Desktop Search, Picasa (with links to the browser for web-related sharing, searching, etc.), and Google Toolbar features that IE users currently enjoy.

Also, Google loves the recently aquired Blogger, and will have built in linkage to Blogger and rich-editing tools, making Blogger a highly integrated feature, with the ability to blog links and web-content as easily as using their integrated GMail features.

As I stated, Mozilla.org and Mozilla developers have been very quiet on all of this. But with such an open organization, it's hard to hide all secrets. There have been a lot of hidden bugs in Bugzilla related to searching, bugs that even members of the Security group can't access. Recently, there was a bug duplicated to a confidential bug with the following comment by the triager: "This is a duplicate of a private bug about working with Google. So closing this one." That bug also now closed, but it was open long enouch for people to notice it.

There's also a lot of 'covert' code going into the tree without individual bug references. And none of these patches are being checked in by Google staff, but by other Mozilla developers, ostensibly checking in code for Google employees to keep a low profile. None of this is Google-exclusive, per se, as much as it is code that one could easily see as making life easier for a third party developer making heavy integration changes. the checking comments are usually very technically described, possibly to obfuscate their use to the majority of watchers to maintain the secret. Example

Exactly how all this is being tied together is not clear, although one could easily assume they're making use of their own Google Webservice APIs. Google hired a number of developers from various walks of technological life, including Java developers. The potential links to Java are unclear still. I haven't been able to get any word on that at all, and it's highly possible they're just talented developers, hired for other projects.

Lastly, it's been a very odd experience trying to tie together these details. It's been difficult to get clear information on the various features. They did recently acknowledge browser related work, but Google is a notoriously tight lipped company. One thing is certain, it's going to be very interesting when they draw open the curtain.

Here's an idea.. (5, Funny)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625668)

The Mozilla Foundation should register mozsearch.com then start buying up shares in Google but denying they have an interest in search... it would serve absolutely not purpose but it would create a hell of a lot of hype and speculation.

With all these google services popping up... (0, Redundant)

gonzo (son of colin) (825278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625674)

I wont be able to use my buzz phrase anymore! Me: Dont worry Ill just Google it. Them: You cant email flowers.

GoogleOS? (2, Interesting)

fodi (452415) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625687)

So, Google will build their technology into a browser.. and add mail, news and searching capabilities. then they'll couple that with the desktop search facility, maybe with an auto-translation of emails service... how about right-click on a word (product) in an email and search for its price... Hehe.. might as well add Solitaire and call it an operating system...

Integration's great, but at which point will it just become a bloated, lock-in business model??

What's next - Google No Limit Texas Holdem ? (0)

Napoleon Blownapart (767443) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625689)

Well they are doing a lot of bandwagon jumping.

Expressly denied by Google CEO (4, Informative)

adamwright (536224) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625710)

See http://news.ft.com/cms/s/3d077db6-25ff-11d9-81d9-0 0000e2511c8.html [ft.com]

Specifically

One widely rumoured defence against Microsoft has been a Google web browser potentially countering the software giant's ability to embed its own search engine into its operating system.
"We are not building a browser," Mr Schmidt said.

Re:Linky Linky! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625803)

It's a GoogleBomb stupid, their aiming to rank highly for every word in the english language.

Public Gmail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625720)

If, as the article suggests, the browser features tight integration with Gmail, then a release of a browser would only happen as or after Gmail is made public.

Gbrowser? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10625727)

Why does everyone assume that Gbrowser would be a web browser? It could really be any number of things; an online photo album, an online store, anything that you can "browse".

Re:Gbrowser? (1)

gonzo (son of colin) (825278) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625758)

Because it gives us more to talk about =)
Good point though

*sigh* (5, Funny)

cybersavior (716002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10625810)

Here we go again! I cant wait for the next "google rumor of the week." "Google has been said to have tested their own Google-brand cold fusion ractor, codenamed GFuse. However, this comes with little fan-fare as next month they are expected to unveil their anti-matter warp core and time travel device."
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