Russian-based Internet search engine Yandex have released their own web browser in an effort to compete with Google and defend its market share. The browser is based on the WebKit platform and Google's Chromium code and also borrows components from Opera and Kaspersky Lab, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Kaspersky Lab software will help defend web users against viruses while Opera's Turbo technology is said to speed up browsing. The browser is available for download as of writing and will be updated every several weeks, said Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh. The company's head of mobile services Tigran Khudaverdyan hopes the browser will challenge other big name browsers in the region.

Opera owns the majority market share with regards to web browser use in Russia at 30 percent. Google's Chrome is catching on like wildfire with a market share of 25.9 percent. Firefox holds the third spot at 19 percent while Internet Explorer is used by 14 percent of web surfers. Apple's Safari browser isn't as well in the country with a share of only nine percent.

The Yandex offering could even become the default web browser on mobile handsets if the company is able to work out deals with manufacturers in the near future.

In the search landscape, Yandex still remains the top engine of choice as they performed 60.6 percent of web searches last month. This is down from a peak of 65 percent in February 2011, however. On the other hand, Google usage has increased from 21.4 percent to 26.6 percent in the same time frame - plenty of reason for Yandex to be concerned.