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September 3, 2008

Google Chrome Offers Shiny New Browser Naming

googlechrome_180_119.pngGoogle Chrome is out. As a browser designed to take on Firefox, Opera and IE8, it's become big, big news.

The world already knows the Chrome name and frankly, almost anything with the name Google behind it is going to pique our curiosity, it is a brand that appeals to anyone with a computer.

Still, Chrome?

It sounds like a fragrance for men. Google claims that it refers to the typical bells and whistles around browsers, with the idea being to "minimize chrome."

Regardless, it is a name that has seen a lot of use in the XUL, "an XML user interface markup language developed by the Mozilla project."

Most of the features on Chrome have pretty standard names, although it does feature an "incognito mode" that is similar to Microsoft's new InPrivate browsing feature. Mozilla is also working on a similar feature and Safari already has a setting simply called "Privacy" for Mac OS.

Computer browsers all have odd names but I think this one is possibly a little impractical because it has been used before and because it is so jarring. "Google" is a funky word we've never seen before, but "Chrome" is not.

Nonetheless, I'm curious, and that's half the battle won for Google. And as a great blog post at Nature and Cyberspace mentions, this is a fabulous word but "this browser name is loaded with metaphors, both good and bad."

I think this is an example of "inside baseball" naming.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 3, 2008 9:11 AM
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