Google Inc. is releasing its own Web browser in a long-anticipated move aimed at countering the dominance of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and ensuring easy access to its market-leading search engine.
The Mountain View, California-based company took the unusual step of announcing its latest product on the Labor Day holiday after it prematurely sent out a comic book drawn up to herald the new browser’s arrival.
The free browser, called “Chrome,” is supposed to be available for downloading Tuesday in more than 100 countries for computers running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Google said it’s still working on versions compatible with Apple Inc.’s Mac computer and the Linux operating system.
Google’s browser is expected to hit the market a week after Microsoft’s unveiling of a test version of its latest browser update, Internet Explorer 8. The tweaks include more tools for Web surfers to cloak their on-line preferences, creating a shield that could make it more difficult for Google and other marketing networks to figure out which ads are most likely to appeal to which individuals.
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