Channel 9 has this great video on the Gazelle web browser project by Microsoft Research. It’s being constructed on an operating system architecture, which means improved security, resource handling and sharing.
Gazelle’s Browser Kernel is an operating system that exclusively manages resource protection and sharing across web site principals. This construction exposes intricate design issues that no previous work has identified, such as legacy protection of cross-origin script source, and cross-principal, cross-process display and events protection.
It sounds very much like Chrome, and going through Chrome’s design documents, you’ll find a lot of information of a somewhat similar multi process model and architecture. An interesting question asked in this video is if Gazelle can be ‘blue screed’ since it’s based on an OS architecture. This and many other interesting questions are answered in the video by Gazelle project lead Helen Wang and Alex Moshchuk, a PhD student intern developer. Keep in mind that Gazelle so far is based on paper purely, and there hasn’t been any signs of a working prototype so far in the open. It’s not clear whether Gazelle will be used for Internet Explorer 9 either, although seeing the slowness of Internet Explorer 8, I’d like to see Gazelle be the core of the next Microsoft web browser.