Webkit (Chrome) to prerender pages soon.

Niall Kennedy notes that Chrome 13 will prerender pages that it thinks are likely to be loaded by the user. Plug-ins that do this have been around for years, but shipping it natively with the browser means millions of people will be zombie-browsing the web, pulling up pages that they never see. Chrome will provide a JavaScript variable to assist analytics in determining whether the user is a actually viewing the page. I assume Google Analytics will account for that in short order.

The bigger story here, and the one that I’ve been chronicling on this blog, is the insinuation of JavaScript into every nook and cranny of the web, from layout to URL redirection to animation to feature detection. It is rapidly becoming—if it has not already become—a necessary and de facto component of the modern web, at least as we see it through our browsers.