Russia’s Yandex joins the browser wars

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Yandex owns the Russian search market and now it’s looking to stake a claim in the browser wars.

The company today announced the launch of its own browser, simply called Yandex browser.

“Cloud-based browsing is a next-generation answer to the challenges of the modern internet,” said Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex. “To make the internet experience faster, easier and safer for everyone, we have built a cloud-based browser that integrates the best of our products and services and is open to other web developers.”

The browser is built on the WebKit engine, which is also the basis for Safari and Chrome. The User Interface meanwhile is based on the open-source Chromium code.

It also apparently has a “Turbo” mode, because apparently Yandex’s developers come from an era (the 1980s) when slapping the word “Turbo” automatically made it amazing:

The Yandex browser platform has through a technological partnership with a key long-term partner been expanded to incorporate Opera Software’s Turbo technology, which allows to boost the browser’s page loading capacity even with a slow connection. The Turbo mode will be included in the next browser release.

Despite Yandex dominating search in Russia (in fact, it’s the fifth largest search engine worldwide), the browser reportedly gives you a built-in choice of search engines to power your online searches.

The company claims that its “cloud-based safe browsing technology”, together with Kaspersky Lab’s security solution, means that the browser is safe, automatically warning people if they’re about to enter a site with malicious content.

The browser, which will be available for download today is compatible with Windows and Mac OS.

Although Yandex’s browser has been in the works for some time now, the timing of its launch is interesting. Late last week, fellow Russian internet giant Mail.Ru launched its own browser, which integrates people’s social media feeds.

According to The Next Web, the decision to build the browser appears to have come after it was booted as the default search option from Russian-language builds of Firefox earlier this year.

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