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Google Chrome

I just downloaded and installed Google Chrome after reading the comic book that explains the details of the project. I had been hearing rumors about it last week but I didn’t pay much attention to them. In the last couple days there had seemed to be much anticipation (and over-hype) about its release and what it means. I must say I was prepared to be underwhelmed… and, as a Web designer, thinking, who needs yet another new browser to test sites into? But after using it for a little bit, I must admit I like what I see.

My initial hesitation came mostly from the fact that, aside from its search engine technology, I haven’t been impressed by much of what Google has released in the past. I don’t use GMail and I don’t use Google Documents for the same basic reason. So far, I still much prefer desktop applications for email and office type tasks and my communications and organizational activities are pretty much centered in Outlook 2007. It works very well for me and my data is on my own machine where I want it. I never liked Web based email to begin with.

But Chrome is different because it is a desktop application and the foundations and ideas on which it was built are very interesting. As many noted and despite a lot of over-hype (what else is new in the tech world…), Chrome has a lot of things that were already in other browsers. My main browser is Opera 9.5 and I really have not seen any other that is as fast or feature-rich. But Chrome is fast too… damn fast actually, especially with JavaScript and I really like the minimal interface. This is a first beta and can only improve with time. Also, so far all my sites I looked at with Chrome display correctly and pretty much the same as Safari, FF 3 or IE7. Its text rendering seems identical to Safari which is normal since both are based on the WebKit rendering engine.

So, in summary, Google Chrome seems like a solid entry in the crowded browser world and will only get better. But, I would take the premature previsions of some pundits that Chrome will cause the demise of MSIE with a huge grain of salt… Haven’t we heard that one before?

Won’t tech commentators ever learn that “regular” people are creatures of habit and are unlikely to change browsers just because a new player’s in town? Don’t they get that Microsoft is entrenched in the business world for the foreseeable future? Those who should be worried by this are the other smaller players IMO, like Opera and Firefox and maybe even Safari which seems to be as entrenched on the Mac as MSIE is on PCs… for now.

Anyway, only time will tell how Chrome will affect the browser wars but it is a good piece of software that brings welcome competition and innovation. And did I say it was fast! I’m writing this blog post in it through TinyMCE now which unfortunately doesn’t work in Opera yet. Good going with this one Google!

Comments

  1. Foil says

    Great browser, but not that great for a powerhouse like Google. One great feature in Firefox is the NoScript add on, block unwanted ads, pop ups, and tracking tools used by Google. Maybe these technologies were why Google decided to create its own browser as it posed a direct threat to the primary revenue stream. Look forward to others thoughts.

  2. says

    Yep, for me it’s way too soon to pass judgment on Chrome. On one end it’s a promising offering but I’m really not sure it will have the groundbreaking impact some claim. But only time will tell and I’m sure Google are very aware of what is missing in Chrome if they want to compete with other browsers. Let’s give them time to complete the project and get a real version 1.0 out then we’ll have a better idea what chance it stands in this competitive market.

    Thanks for the comments so far guys!

  3. says

    I think Google Chrome is more so a contribution towards the open source community to do as they like with it. It isn’t necessarily a replacement for Firefox. But hopefully Chrome creates a new standard in terms of social engineering for Firefox and other browsers. I encourage you to read this blog article: http://opensourcecritique.com/?p=12

  4. Leginos says

    Website owners should beware of Chrome. Any web owner, blogger, etc that relies on income from Google adsense should be very concerned about how this software may develop.

    Currently Google can only display their ads if the website owner has incorporated the actual code into the site. But now……

    Think about it…. How easy would it be Google to incorporate ads directly into the browser. A small frame at the beginning of each page and voila! Google ads could then be displayed automatically by the Chrome browser for ANY website, and Google would not have to pay one cent to the Website owner. They still get all the revenue, and don’t have to pay out anything to the web owner. Web sites relying on their Google PPC ads etc should beware, the end is neigh.

    All website owners, Bloggers, and anyone else etc., really need to kick up about this potential issue and seek assurances from Google that this will not happen. This is where the REAL threat lies.

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