September 27, 2004: 3:25 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Move over, Bill Gates. Google Inc. may be working on a new Web browser to compete with Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.
A technology news Web site said Thursday that many clues are pointing toward Google developing a series of Web features--including a domain-name registration and a Google-branded Web browser.
The online search engine, which raised $1.67 billion in its August IPO, is creating a Web browser that would meld Google search; its free e-mail service, Gmail; and Google's Blogger Web publishing software and pop-up blocking technology, according to CNET.
But Google (GOOG: Research, Estimates) remains secretive about the mission. A spokesperson declined to comment on the report, but he said Google believes "in reinventing the wheel with respect to browser technologies."
"We do believe in continuing to enhance the Web browsing experience through products, such as the Google Toolbar and Google Deskbar," the spokesman told CNN/Money on Friday.
Included in the new hires were Adam Bosworth, a former employee of BEA and Microsoft, who helped create Internet Explorer; Joe Beda, a seven-year Microsoft veteran who's worked on the software giant's next-generation graphics engine, Avalon; and Joshua Bloch, a Sun Microsystems (SUNW: Research, Estimates) developer who has designed major enhancements to the Java programming language and application programming interfaces, or APIs.
The company's spokesman declined to confirm their employment with Google.
In addition, Google registered the Internet domain name "gbrowser.com" on April 26, according to a registry record obtained by CNN/Money at the WhoIs domain-name database.
CNET also said employees of Google have recently filed a patent application for delivering ads to client-side applications, including a Web browser or browser plug-in.
Earlier this year, Google unveiled the Gmail e-mail service, which provides more storage space than most other Web-based e-mail offerings.
On Thursday, Google's two founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, were named two of the wealthiest Americans by Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $4 billion each, chiefly thanks to the company's recent IPO.