Google develops browser sync tool for Firefox

Google blew another kiss to Mozilla by developing a browser sync tool for Firefox, but not for Microsoft's IE.

In another boost to Mozilla, Google has created a tool that lets users synchronize the settings of their Firefox browsers across multiple computers.

With Google Browser Sync, users will maintain the same bookmarks, Web site visits log, saved passwords and persistent cookies in all their copies of the Mozilla open-source browser.

To enable this continuous synchronization to happen, users have to install copies of the Google Browser Sync on every computer where they have Firefox, Google announced late Wednesday in its official blog.

This free tool also "remembers" the tabs and windows users had open the last time they used Firefox and gives users the option to open them. One downside is that the tool updates settings every time Firefox is launched, which will increase the time it takes a browser to open, Google warns.

Google Browser Sync works with Firefox 1.5 and newer versions. It doesn't support Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Opera Software ASA's Opera or the Mozilla Suite, which includes the Mozilla Navigator browser.

It's not surprising to see Google developing tools for Firefox that don't work with IE. Google has a close relationship with Mozilla that involves technology collaborations and cross-promotion efforts. Meanwhile, the relationship between Microsoft and Google is at best adversarial and often acrimonious. They compete in search, online services and, increasingly, in desktop and hosted software.

Browsers in particular are a contentious area between Google and Microsoft because they are an entry point to Web search activity. Recently, Google has complained about the new IE, version 7, which is now in beta and contains an embedded search box with a drop-down menu set by default to use Microsoft's search engine, but which includes other options.

However, some have criticized Google for being inconsistent on this point because its search engine is the default choice in the embedded Firefox search box. Firefox is a thorn in Microsoft's side, because it is the most credible competitor to IE in years, holding now an estimated 10 percent market share.

In April, Google caused a stir when it promoted Firefox on its home page, a rare move and one clearly intended to help Firefox grow its market share. Google also includes Firefox in its Google Pack, a free, downloadable software suite that it distributes and that includes products from Google and other vendors, including Adobe Systems and Symantec, but not Microsoft.

More information and download instructions for Google Browser Sync can be found at: http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/browsersync/index.html.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?