Google Chrome is a web browser, launched in 2008, that is primarily used by desktop and laptop computers. Google Chrome is a freeware software application, and the majority of it's code is open-source, released in a project named: Chromium. Google Chrome is available for a range of platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, OS X and Windows. The source code of Google Chrome is written in the programming language: C++. The browser supports over fifty languages. Versions of Google Chrome have passed the Acid1, Acid2 and Acid3 tests; these tests check whether a browser complies with web standards and a high score indicates that a browser will render a webpage 'correctly'.
Google Chrome, as the name suggests, is developed and released by the technology company: Google. Google was launched as a search engine in 1998-1990, and primarily generates revenue from online advertisements. Google's products and services are largely targeted at people who use the World Wide Web; to access and 'surf' the World Wide Web a user requires a client application, named a browser.
The first web browsers were developed and launched in 1991-1992; none of these browsers are widely used today (2014). Microsoft launched the Internet Explorer browser in 1995, and, from 1997-2010, this browser has had the largest usage share of any browser; some statistics indicate that it had a usage share of 95% in 2002. Google Chrome, launched in 2008, slowly managed to challenge the dominance of Internet Explorer; harnessing the financial might of Google, and it's position as the Web's number no.1 search engine. In 2014, most statistics indicates that Google Chrome is now the most popular web browser: with a usage share of over 40%.
The first version of Google Chrome was released on the 2nd of September, 2008. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and in 2001, they hired Eric Emerson Schmidt to 'run' Google; Schmidt was Google's CEO from 2001-2011. By his own admission, Schmidt was opposed to the creation of a Google browser throughout the mid-2000's. While Google were the Web's most popular search engine, they were a new company, and Schmidt feared they could not match Microsoft's financial power; Microsoft's Internet Explorer was the most popular web browser from 1997-2012.
However, Schmidt was shown a working example of a prototype Google browser - that apparently used Mozilla code - and was subsequently impressed enough to give a 'green light' to the project. The first version of Google Chrome, released in 2008, used a range of code libraries; some from Google and some from third party sources like Mozilla. The software engine used by Chrome to render webpages is called Blink. From 2008-2014, Google Chrome has been heavily developed, with over 41 versions released; this is in comparison to a total of 11 versions for Internet Explorer (1995-2014).