Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thoughts on Google Chrome

Google launched their browser, which made some (surprisingly little) noise around the blogosphere yesterday. I installed it (this is my first post made from within Chrome) and thought I'd post some thoughts.


First off, kudos for the Comic that kicked off the launch (fans of Scott McCloud will recognize his work here):


Brilliant! What a brilliant way to convey at consumer-level the ideas behind some of the advantages that Chrome offers over competitive offerings. things like Multi-threading, memory management, JVMs, priviledge levels, etc

Secondly, I'm just surprised how little talk there's been about it. First off, it's got to be a HUGE threat to Microsoft. Firefox has made inroads just based on technical advantages and word of mouth, but now here comes Google, with a track record of gaining MSS via a proven business model (look at their toolbar business), and the advantage that comes with being a primary starting point for so many people's web experience. Which brings to mind... why is Chrome not being pitched on the google homepage; nor even in the options at the top; nor on the 'other' pull down menu? Strange. Anyhow, secondly, holy cow this has have Firefox worried. Google's been a major partner for them, and it will be interesting to see just how fickle their users can be, and how many were with them because they just weren't IE.

Finally, the browser itself is pretty slick. I love the 'most visited' and 'most recent bookmarks' in the startup page, The tabs are nice with duplicate features, the drag'n'drop of them feels nice. The treatment of popups is very slick (much better than IE's 'yellow bar'). 

My only complaints so far:
- it'd be nice if History was nested by site. I'm occasionally.searching for a page I found earlier in the day, and this feature makes it easier.
- I'd really like the RSS integration that IE7 has. I know Google has Reader, but I want it baked into my desktop app and I want that app to be the same as my browser.

Anyhow, fantastic product from what I've seen thus far. Nice first effort Google!

4 comments:

Darius Kazemi said...

"I'm just surprised how little talk there's been about it."

Um, really? It's all I've seen for that last day. That and the RNC.

Pappy said...

Yeah, I've seen tons of talk about it. But I frequent a lot of geeky, browser-tech blogs anyway :)

Oh, and on the main Google search page there's a line underneath the search box that has 'rotating' news stories. And a link to Chrome is definitely in the rotation. This is what I see right now : "New! Download Chrome (BETA) - the new browser from Google"

That all said, the sucker is darned fast. I also love how the borders disappear in full-screen mode. There's plenty to like, and once it has plug-ins, I may even consider switching :)

harrit said...

I'm curious as to why it's going to be a huge blow to Microsoft.

I think there are two main reasons why IE is still around and as large as it is.

1. It came with their computer.
2. Activex.

The business world is still relying on activex to do various things for their websites. Yeah, jscript and java can make up for it, but I still see activex having a much bigger presence inside of work environments.

For the other large share, as long as the browser is installed with the OS, people will still use it. As much as people like to trash IE, it's hard to say that what it is now, resembles what it was even three years ago. The browser has come a long way and with IE8, it goes even further. Until the day that it utterly destroys every computer it is installed on, I think it will have a major presence.

I think it's going to take away from Firefox more than it will IE, because you look at it, people who shop around for new browsers already ditched IE.

I don't know, those are just some thoughts I had on it.

Angus said...

"Why is it not being advertised on the google homepage"

It... is?

Personally, I don't think it's going to put more than a small dent in IE's marketshare. I agree with harrit, most of the people using IE today, consumers, use it because they don't know about firefox, or they don't care. I don't see them moving over to Chrome which "does the same thing IE does". Firefox is in bigger trouble, but then, FF also does a bunch of things Chrome doesn't do. No add-ins, no themes, no debugging tools...

This is staging for android more than anything else.