The Russians at Yandex are copying a page out of the Chinese book of innovation and taking an existing open source project, changing the logo and passing it as their own. This time around, it's not Android that's getting plundered but another Google product, Chrome.
Yandex has taken Chromium, the open source version of Chrome, changed the logo and the default search engine and has called it Yandex Browser.
This new revolutionary browser is set to be released
soon enough so people who like Chrome but aren't so keen on its name or icon will now, finally, have an alternative.
Just as Alibaba took Android, changed some things around, called it Aliyun and proudly announced that it's launching a brand new mobile operating system, Yandex took Chromium, changed some things around and is proudly announcing a brand new browser.
And just like Alibaba
, it's sticking the "cloud" label on it because everything is better if it's in the cloud.
"Cloud-based browsing is a next-generation answer to the challenges of the modern internet," Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex, wrote. "To make the internet experience faster, easier and safer for everyone, we have built a cloud-based browser that integrates the best of our products and services and is open to other web developers."
What exactly does a cloud-browser do, you ask? Well, everything plain old browser does and nothing else. But it doesn't matter, it's still better since it's in the "cloud."
But don't take our word for it, here's what Yandex has to say about its next-generation browser. The biggest new feature in Yandex browser is a unified search and address bar.
"The Yandex browser features a merged search and address bar, which can be used both to surf and to search the internet," Yandex explained.
Can you imagine, both surf and search the internet, from the same box? Actually, you don't have to imagine it, Chrome's Omnibox was interesting, innovative even, when it was introduced, but that was four years ago.
But there's more, Yandex Browser comes with "proprietary machine-learned automated translation technology" which can translate any page you encounter on the web. Granted, Chrome has had the same feature built in for a few years now, that doesn't make Yandex Browser any less revolutionary.
It doesn't end here, for convenience, Yandex Browser also bundles the Flash Player plugin and a PDF reader. Yes, Google Chrome does too, but that doesn't make the achievement any less impressive.
To be fair, the Russian browser does come with a couple of new features, granted none of them actually built by Yandex. The browser incorporates Opera Turbo technology which can be useful for poor internet connections, as well as a Kaspersky plugin for "safe browsing."
When Baidu debuted its own mobile browser
, it at least built it's own browser even if it based it on WebKit. Yandex simply took Chromium, changed the name, and is boldly proclaiming to have come up with a new "cloud" browser.