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Information has emerged overnight that indicates that Google is planning a massive overhaul to their Chrome browser including a new design that will see the address bar only appear when a mouse is hovered over it.Google believes that with all browsers too much space is taken up by the address bar and other functions. As a result the company is testing “radical” changes to their browser in a move that could strip further market share away from Microsoft who has seen demand for the Internet Explorer Browser slump from over 80% share to sub 50% share.

At the weekend Google introduced a new Chrome Beta which is significantly faster than previous Chrome versions and significantly faster than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which, like their Windows 7 software, is now seen as being slow and cumbersome.

The new “compact” navigation mode, described on the Chromium website as one of two key focuses for development, would take the web address bar out of each tab, releasing more screen space to display web pages. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9, which is already available in a pre-release version, adopts a similar approach, however, Google is said to be planning a significantly more stripped down version, working towards releasing almost the entire screen for web browsing.

The Daily Telegraph in the UK said that Chrome is also increasingly using web apps, such as that produced by Tweetbdeck for users to manage their Twitter accounts. The notes on the website list “current URL is not always visible” as a weakness of the design, but also say that “Apps can provide a better experience with full control of their content area”.

More than 120 million users now use Google Chrome, which has been heavily advertised by Google. The company is also working on a ‘Chrome OS’ rival to Microsoft Windows.

Google updates Chrome every six weeks, but major upgrades tend to be far less frequent. The company warned that Chrome’s “user interface is under development”, and said that there is no guarantee that design changes will be rolled out on a wide scale.

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