Google has announced the launch of an open source web browser that makes use of the same technology utilised by Safari and Firefox.

According to a post on the Official Google Blog, the Google Chrome browser is available for download in beta format from today (September 2nd) for Windows.

Versions for Mac and Linux are currently being developed, Google vice-president of product management Sundar Pichai and engineering director Linus Upson said.

The new browser features fast processing, a clean design and the use of an address bar in each tab.

Google divulged the news after an online comic book promoting Chrome was released early by accident.

"We realised that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser," Mr Pichai and Mr Upson remarked.

Mozilla chief executive John Lilly said on his blog that he was still "optimistic" about the future of the company and its Firefox browser following Google’s announcement, welcoming the extra competition the launch of Chrome will bring.

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