Google is launching an open source web browser to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox.
The browser is designed to be lightweight and fast, and to cope with the next generation of web applications that rely on graphics and multimedia. Called Chrome, it will launch as a beta for Windows machines in 100 countries, with Mac and Linux versions to come.
"We realised... we needed to completely rethink the browser," said Google's Sundar Pichai in a blog post.
The new browser will help Google take advantage of developments it is pushing online in rich web applications that are challenging traditional desktop programs.
Google has a suite of web apps, such as Documents, Picasa and Maps which offer functionality that is beginning to replace offline software.
View: BBC News