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Google is launching an open source web browser to compete with 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.

I suppose Google is playing the Microsoft game of integrating this with its other suite of web apps, such as Documents, Picasa and Maps which offer functionality that is beginning to replace offline software.

In a previous post, ‘Stats on my blog’, I was surprised that Firefox was 20%.