Google Chrome – The reason behind its name revealed !

Why is Google Chrome, Chrome? Nope. Not why it a browser. That might be the most absurd question here. Why is Chrome browser named Chrome!? For the unknown, Google Chrome happened accidentally, just like many great inventions in the past. And it has been climbing the popularity from then.

What if the same question pops in your head, “What’s the reason behind the name Chrome?” A silly but good question.

Well, we have an answer from Glen Murphy, Design Lead, Google Chrome. In his words,

We had a ‘pick a codename’ vote early in the development cycle – the names that came of that competition were so terrible that we were all pretty happy when one of the leads overrode it and declared that the codename would be ‘Chrome’, presumably because he likes fast cars. When it came time to pick a real name for the product for shipping, we stuck with ‘Chrome’ because:

• During development, we’d all come to love the product deeply, and new names had a hard time breaking and bettering the associations we’d already formed with the codename.

• As our lead did, people associated it with speed – shiny fast engines and cars.

• In design terminology, ‘chrome’ refers to the non-webpage parts of the browser’s interface – the toolbars, tabs and buttons – because our design philosophy was “Content, not chrome” – putting our focus on minimizing the amount of browser UI present, we felt it cheekily appropriate to name the browser Chrome.

Also, I personally like it because of its relation to ‘chroma’ and ‘chromatic’ – I love the cacophony of colors that those words imply, and how that relates to the beautiful range of design across the web.

The 3-year old Google Chrome is presently in its 13th version, going all well.

Personally, after Internet Explorer, Google Chrome is the browser for me. Download Google Chrome. You’ll like it!

In a day or two, I will tell you why Safari Browser was possibly named Safari, so stay tuned!

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Microsoft Student Partner | Computer Science graduate | Loves flirting with technology | Author at The Geeks Club | Lives on the web at @asrartheone

24 Comments

  1. Tele64

    Actually, the reason it’s named Chrome is because it is based entirely on the browser IRON :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRWare_Iron

  2. Actually, IRON is based on Chrome.
    I’ve just checked that in the wikipedia page you’ve just provided
    first line in Development History

    Iron was first released as a beta version on 18 September 2008[1], 16 days after Google Chrome’s initial release.
    what do you say now?
    and here’s a comparison between both chrome and iron
    http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron_chrome_vs_iron.php

  3. Tele64

    Regardless of ‘release’ date. Chrome IS based on IRON.
    What, are you sleeping with someone from Google or something?

  4. Tele64

    Regardless of ‘release’ date. Chrome IS based on IRON.
    What, are you sleeping with someone from Google or something?

  5. i don’t want to get rude, but can you prove it?
    how did you know that it IS based on IRON?
    well, without getting rude
    can you just take a look at this link (FROM SRWARE OFFICIAL SITE)
    http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php

  6. Just as expected, nothing left to say
    it’s wise to stay silent while you still can
    btw, thanks a lot tele64, you made me sure of what i wasn’t sure of
    Thanks again 😀

  7. Jim

    Actually, Google’s Chrome is based on the open source Chromium browser, so the name “Chrome” simply a reflection of Google’s lack of originality.

    BTW…IRON is also base on Chromium.

  8. Tele64: Your comment has been edited. You don’t have to stoop to such a low level by throwing personal remarks at Meena Bassem – Feel free to disagree but civilly!

  9. ok, can we reach an agreement now?
    both Chrome and IRON are based on the open source Chromium browser.
    Is everybody satisfied now?

  10. J.L.

    Lol what a noob. They’re both based on Chromium. RTFM, or in this case, the website.
    “The browser is based on the Chromium-source”: http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php

  11. Lukepatrickdeveau

    I thought they cribbed it from that old William Gibson story “Burning Chrome”. It’s a noir-ish sci-fi short story about a pair of hackers who rip off a crime boss by breaking the ICE of a system named Chrome. Great read, like all his work.

  12. Tiviess

    Well since chromium is also from google it kind of makes sense.

  13. John

    Why do these Google people bullshit so much? It’s like they’re trying to create some mythos about themselves! It’s called Chrome because that’s what developers have known the outside containers of a window as for many, many years (i.e. before Google was even conceived!) and Google themselves were trying to create a browser that removed all the other extra stuff from a browser, so that all one was left with was ‘chrome’. However, as Google basically stole what they now describe as ‘Google Chrome’ from an open-source project called ‘Chromium’, this probably had something to do with it as well. It’s never been a mystery!! At least Google give a nod to where they stole it from with there appellation, as opposed to somebody like Apple whom have been stealing from the Linux community for years but have to be put up against a wall before they admit it. OSX – lol, should be called ‘We stole 95% of this operating system from people whom donated their time, resources and expertise for free. Then we pretended it was our own. Then we made billions of dollars from it being on ‘our’ machines.”, but I guess that was too much of a mouthful for the thieves – Steve Jobs and Johnny Ives.

  14. John

    p.s. Google then hi-jacked the Chromium project. So though some people claim that the Chromium project was theirs (Google’s) anyway, it wasn’t originally. In fact many of its original ideals are directly opposed to what Google have since done with it. They would not agree with Google’s constant abuse of the browser’s access to your own system, they would not agree with a browser making lists of the host machine’s other applications (what business is it of theirs was their belief), looking inside your private documents, etc etc, the list of abuse is extremely long at this stage. It just goes to show, if you have enough money, you can literally get away with anything. Google have aided and abetted the realisation of George Orwell’s nightmare and warning! All this from a company that swore to do no evil. We were warned about corporations taking over the world, we all just assumed it would be the oil companies. We were wrong!

  15. John

    p.p.s though Chrome constantly claims to be the most secure browser or the fastest browser or whatever… the facts state something different. Chrome is NOT the fastest browser (by a long shot) and it is in no-way the most secure. Do you know that there is a small piece of code that one can insert on a webpage, and Chrome will then obligingly switch on your webcam (without your permission or knowledge) and record you. Google where informed about this insecurity in early 2014. As of writing this, it still hadn’t been fixed – despite the severity. Secure…NOT!
    p.s. I know people hate it, and as a developer I am one of those people, but Internet Explorer trounces Google in just about every comparison test between them. IE is infinitely more secure than Chrome (as of this writing) and it consistently destroys Chrome in any javascript engine tests. On the rare occasions that Chrome pulls ahead of IE – those are the times that Google takes its statistics from and then presents them to the world like they are fact. We used to know that as ‘baffling somebody with bullshit’.
    No doubt Google call it something else (probably using a phrase they stole from somebody else)

  16. Seer

    Why? Who or what gives you the moral high-ground to say what it is to be human? Nothing but a belief. Personally I agree with you that civil conversation is nicer to partake in, but if a person feels annoyed at another person, should they pretend otherwise. Should they in essence, pretend to be somebody just to concur with your sensibilities. Why do they have to make the change? Why not you? Who or what makes you believe that you are the one in the right? The most evil on the planet seems to me to be done by those whom are absolutely certain of how right they are!

    Just something to think about!
    Also, Disqus claims to never moderate or censor, yet you have decided to anyway!

  17. It is my site and I decide the tone. You may all disagree with each other and even the authors, but civilly please, without throwing personal insults. 🙂

  18. Dan Garwood

    Lol umm no. “Chrome” is OBVIOUSLY short for “chromosome”, as in DNA. This becomes undeniably evident when you look at the Google Chrome logo itself. The logo is shaped exactly as the triple helix AKA 3 strand DNA from a top down perspective. But that’s part of the esoteric symbology that they’d prefer to keep, well, esoteric. Let’s not forget the pattern of colors which is identical to that of Microsoft. But they aren’t ripping off Microsoft though. The red, blue, green, and yellow represent “fire, water, earth, and air”. The four elements which are used in Paganism, Wicca, etc. Anyone with a basic understanding of symbolism/mystery religions/the occult, can recognize these hidden meanings even before recognizing their exoteric meanings that are meant for the uninformeduninitiated masses (which in most cases the meaning is meant to be taken as meaningLESS and just some random design ). Although, that is NEVER the case. There’s ALWAYS an esoteric behind ALL symbols.

  19. Ajedi32

    Why not link the original source of that quote instead of just saying “an answer from Glen Murphy”? Glen originally posted it on Quora, right? https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Chrome-called-Chrome/answer/Glen-Murphy

  20. Ajedi32

    Uh… Google created Chromium. The only reason it exists separately from Chrome is that there were some bits of the Chrome browser that Google couldn’t or didn’t want to make open source.

    For example, the H.264, AAC, and MP3 codecs are proprietary technologies which Google licenses from 3rd parties, so they couldn’t include those in the open source version of Chrome.

  21. Lars Ahlstrom

    I am probably the only one that remember it. The only one who knows the real truth about it.
    We just had a visionary boss for the early team… That simple.
    Project got the name “Chrome”, as she, in a very clever way to rap up the work speed among the guys, said…
    She said:
    “- This project is like a big piece of chromed chromium. It is highly shiny, it’s gonna cast its reflections omnipotent all over the world, in all directions possible…IF…we maintain it, keep it shiny, and never we will allowed it to fade. …as chrome does if it’s not polished regurlary. Then it will soon be dull, non-reflective and in the end rust will conquer the surface of it! Fox fur coloured rust…. Or even coloured like back in me own mans nasty underwear…. (big laugh).

    Then we young programmers knew that this is big… It’s the beginning of the Internet’s ultimate search tool. And in the future it will hover by itself over the table, and have a glowing text on it: “Don’t panic!” (“Excerpt from The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy”)

    Ciao! / Lars

    (…Who personally prefer Firefox. 😉 (they could use some good leadership btw.)
    Cooperation for the better? No. Never in the non-democratic world of capitalism. No no.
    We can only dream of “Fire-chrome”. But you don’t stop dreaming, you hear?
    Because then you might get a chromosome to much up there.. =)
    As some president you currently have in the US… 😀

  22. Sarasacunt

    The real reason is that its a nickname for the drug of choice for the elite, ADRENOCHROME. Its procured by satanists in a ritual that removes the secretions when torturing a terrified human. Dont believe me? Look at the Chrome logo, you are good at shapes right? Can you find the 3 6’s? or 666?

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