Mozilla says that Google Chrome is a result of Google's frustration with its products being predominantly available via the browser of its direct competitor - Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

"The biggest issue for Google is that all of their services are delivered through the browser," Tristan Nitot, head of Mozilla Europe, told TechRadar in an interview today. "And the premier browser is built by Microsoft, who have announced that they're going to compete with Google…[putting] a billion dollars in [its] search and advertising businesses.

"Right now Google is delivering its service through a product (Internet Explorer) which is managed by their direct competitor. And from a technical standpoint – what can I say - it's not performing.

"If you compare Firefox 3 with IE7 there is a very significant difference. And they have no influence over Internet Explorer. And so they have decided to take control over this major strategy issue. I think they're happy from a technical standpoint with Firefox. Internet Explorer is dragging them down in terms of performance and usage," said Nitot.

Open Source "the way to go"

Overall, Nitot seems happy to have another open source browser in the market. "It's good to see a new competitor in the market. For a long time we've been almost alone… Opera and Safari have been really small. We're all in favour of innovation. We know that competition drives innovation. It's good because it shows that Open Source is the way to go."

We asked Nitot whether Mozilla would use code from Chrome in Firefox: "I don't think so. Actually Google has taken pieces from Mozilla and Webkit. We work for [community] benefit. It's the Open Source nature. We're not concerned by this. It's something we agree with."

And as for comparisons on a technical level with Firefox 3? "It's really too early to say," says Nitot. "We have recently announced TraceMonkey (a faster JavaScript engine), which will be included in Firefox 3.1."

And performance of Firefox 3.1 sounds stunning. "We're already quite advanced with [it] in terms of performance gain, in the range of two times faster. I think it is 24 times faster in terms of some operations. We don't know what the V8 virtual machine in Google Chrome is going to give in terms of performance yet."