Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, has nixed rumours of a possible Google browser.
For the longest time, many have predicted that a Google-branded Mozilla-based browser could be the one thing that topples Internet Explorer. Mozilla has the technology to beat Microsoft but not the brand, with Google being the only brand thought capable of going head-to-head with the ubiquitous MS browser.
However, in a conference call to investors and analysts yesterday, Schmidt said:
"The industry is obsessed with this browser question... It looks like people have some good browsers choices already... The way Google operates, we would not build a browser for the fun of building a browser and creating another choice... We're working closely with Firefox, we have a good partnership with Safari and with Opera and a couple of others as well. That seems like a good answer for us right now, strategically,"
Google creates toolbars for other browsers, and already has deals with browser-makers. The default homepage on Firefox is Google, and the browser's creators get paid for every Google search performed through that page - valuable revenue which keeps development funded.
Some will refuse to believe anything less than a 100%, upfront, forthright denial of existence of the project - but one has to imagine that Google has, at least, a prototype working somewhere. With Google allowing its employees to work on their own projects for 20% of their working time, there are bound to be some talented browser engineers in the firm somewhere.
Would you use a Google browser if it was released? Could it take on IE? Or are you perfectly happy with Firefox and Opera? Tell us your browser quibbles over in the forums.