Introduction: what is Yandex, and what is Yandex.Browser
If you don't already know, Yandex is the second search engine in Russia, competing head to head with Google.ru for the Russian search market share.
Yesterday a friend's tweet guided my to this page:
What? Yet another new browser?
A well executed launch
My curiosity was caught, and seeing the countdown was running short, I decided to keep the Chrome window open and see what would happen...
I'm afraid I missed the exact zero moment, but here is what I saw afterward:
No much echo arrived outside Russia about the new browser, but I can bet they prepared the audience ahead of time there.
Let's give Yandex.Browser a try
After a quick examination of the license agreement, I downloaded the installer and launched it.
This is how Yandex.Browser looks like:
Clean and neat, but... looks familiar?
Well, in case you happen to think it resembles Chrome, yes: it is based on the Chromium open source project.
So - dear webmasters friends - worry not: if your site renders on Chrome/WebKit, it renders correctly on Yandex.Browser as well.
...it just wants to translate everything to Russian.
A minor UI improvement I noticed is it reports the title tag in the address bar after the url; I quite like it, as often it is not given enough evidence:
this doesn't happen for the Home Page.
Why another browser? My take...
A search engine launching a browser is nothing new: it all started with Google launching Google Chrome, and we saw it again recently in China with 360 Safe Browser, and in both cases it made sense for their business.
In Yandex case, with "Google Chrome" being now the #1 browser, the Russian search engine probably felt Google had an unfair advantage, its brand visible in the browser of the majority of their user base.
Developing a browser from scratch is a huge investment; I'm old enough to remember in Italy search portal Tiscali trying a similar feat and then giving up, but today life is somewhat easier:
Chrome is based on an open source project named Chromium. Need to maintain the code base? The Chromium project does the heavy lifting!
Yandex has been able to leverage it's competitor work to delivery a first class browser with minimal effort!