Apparently the word leaked on an unofficial Google blog site and they followed up with an “oops” official blog post. Either way, the word is out and the web browser “industry” is in for a shake up. Google is releasing their own web browser called Google Chrome. Apparently it includes pieces from Webkit (I’m guessing the browser part) and Firefox (I’m guessing the chrome part) and will be developed as an open source project.

The first beta will be released tomorrow (Tuesday). I’ve heard rumors but always dismissed them. Why would they do that when we have a handful of pretty good browsers already. I guess the rumors were true and given the beta comes out now, it’s been in the works for a while.

But still, you’ve got to ask why. Why couldn’t they just contribute the stuff the felt was important to Firefox or Webkit. I’m going to guess that it’s because sometimes getting your ideas into an open source project is hard. Everyone with a few open source miles under their belt knows how hard it is to influence a community at times and this isn’t exactly the first fork in the industry. And when you have the resources and experience Google has, I guess it made more sense for them to fork.

My favorite quote is from the cnet news article where I first stumbled on the news: “Open sourcing the code is a smart way to avoid the ‘Google wants to take over the world’ fear, but it seems that Google has ambitions to create a comprehensive Internet operating system, including a browser, applications, middleware and cloud infrastructure.”

Very intriguing. And this is one of the reasons I’m very interested in Android. Because that’s what it is, an internet operating system for mobile. It isn’t much of a stretch to take it beyond the cell phone so it’ll be very interesting to watch where this goes. (And, yeah, I think Microsoft should be paying attention to this.)