Google builds a browser

Strange stirrings at advertising broker

Google is spending some of the cash it raised from its IPO on headhunting staff to build a web browser. Staff have already been poached from Microsoft and Sun.

Joshua Bloch, a senior Java developer at Sun, and four people from Microsoft's IE team have all joined the firm in the last few weeks, according to the New York Post. One of the four, Adam Bosworth, was also a lead developer in the development of Access.

Joe Beda, a developer working on the user interface for Microsoft's Longhorn, has also joined Google. His blog refers to the NY Post story, but does not give too many clues to his work at Google: "My only job now is to write code and ship product. That is about all I can say too :) "

Analysts also point to Google's hosting of Mozilla Developer Day for programmers working on the open source browser. Other observers believe the firm is likely to be working on a specialised music search - which could work like Google's image search.

Longer term, the firm could be looking at building a stack of applications that would mirror Larry Ellison's network computer model - an online resource accessed by a browser and a very simple PC. ®

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