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Rory Cellan-Jones

Chrome - first impressions

  • Rory Cellan-Jones
  • 2 Sep 08, 20:00 GMT

I spent an hour this afternoon at Google's London HQ getting a first look at its new browser, Chrome. So here are a few hurried first impressions...

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The first thing you see when you open the browser is a clutch of snapshots of some of your favourite websites, garnered from your search history. Click and you go straight to them. There's also a box enabling you to search your web history.

But it's the address bar which is intended to do much of the heavy lifting. Start typing in the box- and it begins to offer suggested URLs or offer web searches. Google seems pretty excited about this - but to my eyes it looked much like Firefox's "Awesome Bar".

As with all new browsers, tabs are an important feature, though Google is claiming its tabs are extra special. They each feature the address bar, and they're designed so that if a site crashes in one tab, it doesn't bring down the whole browser, a policy Google calls "kill the tab, not the browser".

Privacy is now a growing concern for many web users, and Chrome has an "Incognito" mode, which means that if your partner comes to the computer after you've been using it, they will not see which sites you have visited.

Used on Google's network, Chrome did appear to load pages very quickly and efficiently - and if those who install the beta (only for Windows right now) experience similar speeds, then it could gain quite a following.

Overall, the browser does not feature anything that will blow the socks off a Firefox user - and persuading the mass of web users, many of whom will be unaware of which browser they use, to go and download Chrome will not be easy.

So Chrome borrows many of its ideas - and its technology - from other browsers. But more choice can only be a good thing, and help spark further innovation.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    oh great, yet another browser!! *yawn*

    yet more hair-tearing-out in the small hours trying to figure out why it's displaying something differently from t'others....

  • Comment number 2.

    I've just tried it - I don't think that Firefox or IE need to worry. Without Firefox's add-ons and mature set of options, it's pretty useless.

    It also failed to import my Firefox bookmarks, and there's no way of importing them manually.

    The install is *too* slick - it doesn't even let you choose where to install.

    It also runs slower than Firefox 3 on my machine, and takes a *lot*more memory.

    I'm not in the least tempted to switch. I'll stick with Firefox.

  • Comment number 3.

    I am using Google Chrome whilst replying to this blog - first impressions are good - it is very fast, there is a lot of space as the tabs fit in the title bar, and i haven't had any compatibility problems as yet. Like the home page too.
    it is definatley worth a download.

  • Comment number 4.

    As a developer, I've the obvious mixed feelings - another browser to test everything against, and the fact that it's promoted by Google means that it WILL get lots of users.

    As a techy end user, I'm not so interested in the user interface changes, which, as you say, aren't a big deal for FF3 users... but the "under the hood stuff" for reliability appeals.

    What I'm most interested in is whether the extensions that Google has made to JavaScript will catch on... and therefore whether the next generation of IE, Firefox and Safari will play "let's work in the same way", or whether we're in for a rehash of the mid 1990s, where every browser manufacturer had their own way of doing stuff.

  • Comment number 5.

    Have tried it, much better than IE different but I wouldn't say better than Firefox, many extensions lacking so I stick with Firefox.

  • Comment number 6.

    Dowloaded chrome one hour ago, looks OK to me, my websites render fine and load pretty quickly too. Simple clean interface for the non technical, my mum will like it. Only found one site that has a problem so far. Which site? news.bbc.co.uk. (see top left of their page).

  • Comment number 7.

    Things I like (in no particular order):

    application shortcuts,

    the slim UI for general web usage (which reminds me of the goods things in IE7 (such as no text menu) combined with some things from firefox),

    the rendering engine (firefox, safari and opera are all pretty decent, this is no better, but it's not IE!),

    the fact the flash/media player plugins work (although of course, this happens in other browsers, sometimes new browsers have this amongst their hicups),

    the new tab page,

    and last but not least, the tabs that can be moved in and out of windows.


    Things I dislike:

    The lack of adblock plus (a firefox plugin),

    The lack of web deveolper toolbar (notice a pattern here?)

    and the fact the javascript doesn't work properly on some websites.


    I think that it may well be possible to turn the good features into firefox addons, so hopefully someone is already working on that!

  • Comment number 8.

    I switched from Firefox 2 to Chrome within the 5 min install. I am now using Chrome. What a no-brainer. So far I am extremely happy! The better process and memory management first caught my attention and caused me to try it. In usage of it so far I have delitefully found everything I want to manage my hundreds of bookmarked pages. It is such a nice balance of easy-of-use and powerful features.

    In response to how will Chrome gain market share with all the luddites: I help numerous people with their tech problems and they run what I recommend they run. I think they may be running Chrome in the future.

    In response to those techno illiterates that don't understand the concept of open-source software, the open source community is not going to overlook and permit a section of code that farms user information for the benefit of Google Inc. That notion is simply paranoia.

    Thanks Google, and congrats.

  • Comment number 9.

    #2. GreenWyvern: "It also failed to import my Firefox bookmarks, and there's no way of importing them manually." Of course there is, you open two windows (one old with Firefox and one new with Chrome) go to the Firefox bookmark, copy the URL, insert it into the new browser, go that site and save as a bookmark. Simple - if you really want to.

  • Comment number 10.

    #7. Re: my previous comment/extensions

    I have Just added:

    Speed Dial,
    Tab Catalog,
    Tiny Menu
    and Undo Closed Tabs Button.

    This may not perfectly replicate all the good features of Google Chrome (Speed Dial doesn't automatically decide what should be in it's list, unlike Chrome's New Tab page), but I think it's enough to keep me with Firefox for now.

  • Comment number 11.

    Using chrome right now. I usually browse with FF3 and considering that Chrome is a beta, I am VERY impressed with it.

    In my experience (YMMV) it is faster to start up than Firefox and quicker to load pages. Only notices one rendering error (the links at the top of news.bbc.co.uk

    The "home page" has become my new favourite feature.

    The interface is clean and simple, exactly what you would expect from google. The google bar works well, comparable to the "awesome bar". I like the fact that if you type the address of a website that has a search box on it and press tab, you can initiate a search from the address bar. Later, that page's search box is made available on the home page.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the British English spellchecker (although there doesn't seem to be a way to add words to the dictionary). Importing bookmarks from FF3 was flawless.

    The only things I'd change would be the ability to alter the colour scheme from blue to another colour. At the moment it doesn't fit in with my desktop that well.

    Even though its still in beta, chrome shows promise and will more than likely stay on my PC for sometime to come.

  • Comment number 12.

    My first impressions are good. I like some parts of the UI, and dislike others. For example I love the way the tabs are at the very top, integrated perfectly with the "chrome" but I think the home page could be spruced up a bit - it looks too web-page-ish. I think it should look more OS-native. More like a program than a web page. Maybe even just a little less Google-ish would be better.

    It also doesn't like my touchpad. When I scroll down it takes huge jumps, and it won't scroll up at all. In addition, the middle mouse button won't let me scroll, and there's no smooth scrolling.

    Overall though, apart from the lack of add-on support and a few minor bugs I do actually quite like it!

  • Comment number 13.

    It downloaded and installed quick, and imported everything without any problems what so ever.

    I'm using it now, but usually use Firefox with the below extensions
    Fast Dial (as home page and for new blank tabs)
    IE Tab (Sometimes you just have to, still)
    Tab Scope (Great for Tab previews)
    AdBlock Plus (Makes the internet more usable)

    Where as I can possibly do without FastDial, cause Chrome's system may prove just a useful, and IETab, I find TabScope and AdBlock Plus to useful to leave behind

    What I do like about Chrome is the UI, it's so much better than anything else, it's crisp and clean and fresh

    It's also fast, VERY fast!

    Keeping individual tabs as seperate process's is a great idea

    Another great idea is incognito, the ability to privately surf, or more precisley the ability to open an incognito tab when you have a range of tabs already open

    And the ability to make web application shortcuts in your start menu/quick launch/desktop.

    As Chrome is open source, perhaps some can replicate it, and make a version which accepts extensions, so the few things that are missing can be added by users choice

    This is a great first effort, and don't forget Firefox is on it's 3rd release, IE it's 8th and Opera it's 9th

    In fact it's not even released yet it's still Beta


  • Comment number 14.

    General impressions OK, but the implementation of history seems primitive compared to IE/Firefox. I use this a lot, and this version goes back so far that I doubt Chrome will get much use.

  • Comment number 15.

    Further to my previous post I've now used it some more, and it is so fast at displaying pages I don't think I could go back

    When I was trying to get my friends to switch to Firefox I told them to spend 2 weeks browsing with it and nothing else, and if you do't like it, unistall it none of them did

    The default homepage, and blank tab page become more useful, the more you use it

    If you maximise the window you hardly notice your actually using browser at all

    And if you try out a couple of things featured here http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/09/invisible-browser.html
    It really is good, and this isn't the final 1st version nevermind the 3rrd, 8th or 9th versions of other browsers it's competing with (I just wish I could get an extension or 2 for it)

  • Comment number 16.

    Sorry didn't finish what I was saying in No. 15

    If you try Chrome for 2 weeks, anything else will seem slow and primitive by comparison

  • Comment number 17.

    Chrome's simplicity and functionality (Incognito springs to mind) will ensure a successful launch for Google.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    As a developer, pages in Chrome don't seem to look any different to Firefox, which is a relief.

    The current lack of plugins mean that I won't be turning my back on FireFox any time soon (I use a bunch of development add-ons for the browser to support my work).

    Still - there are a lot of reasons why Chrome can replace Internet Explorer, and I would recommend anyone to make that switch as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 20.

    I find that the new chrome browser is generally faster than firefox ( I am not comparing with Internet explorer since I have stopped using IE for the past 3 years).
    Right now we have two contenders for the top spot in the future Chrome and firefox.

  • Comment number 21.

    I got the Chrome download. Dabbled with it for 5 minutes until it wouldnt let me get to my Yahoo webmail. Back to firefox and perfectly happy. May venture back out with Chrome tomorrow.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm also testing it now and I am really impressed. I was a bit sceptical at first but it works really well. I too miss my Firefox extensions but I'm sure there will be something equivalent for Chrome out soon.

    I have made a little review of Chrome that is somewhat from a developers point of view if anyone is interested. You find it here:

    Google Chrome review with screenshots

    I agree that the address bar is very Firefox. Is there any difference?

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    Have now read 1-23 above; we must all understand Chrome is a BETA; it's not complete yet!

    I avoid IE wherever possible, and have been a dedicated FF fan for years - I certainly wouldn't want to go back from FF3 to FF1.

    My Chrome installation imported all my FF3 bookmarks perfectly

    However, the most important factors here are Open Source and Convergence - Google admit they have pinched all the good bits from others, and that is clear, with signs of FF, Opera, Safari and Flock - all good in their own right, but bring them together, with the potential that lies in the final version 1.0 and WOW!!!

    We tend to be very impatient; so just chill a bit, and watch the next few weeks!

    Having just been through a month of live testing on two new software programs, that I think will also change the world (Market Samurai and WordPressDirect), I have seen the value of having a whole stack of real, everyday, users contributing comments and obstacles! I am certain Google will read and digest and implement!!

    So FF3 Extensions and skin colours (Chrome?) first please!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    I notice that Chrome doesn't display the Accessibility link correctly on the BBC news site.

    But apart from that, first impressions are very positive.

    Also all of my own websites display perfectly on it - so it's pretty standards compliant!

    Gregor

  • Comment number 26.

    For a beta release, I'm very impressed. Hopefully they will take into account everything already mentioned in this blog, I've no doubt they'll have plenty of people scouting round websites collecting comments.

    Also being open source there'll be a million and one add-ons within the month for us all to use.

    I'm not allowed to use FF at work but the boss has said that I can use Chrome so I can finally ditch IE! I'm in 2 minds whether or not to switch at home. I might keep both for now and use FF when I need specific add-ons which Chrome can't do for me.

    Well done Google, you may just have done it again!

  • Comment number 27.

    Mad_caesar... you're not allowed to use Firefox at work but your boss has said you can use Chrome? I'd love to know the rationale behind that.

  • Comment number 28.

    Ugh, my comment couldn't be accepted due to it apparently containing invalid XML. This is despite it containing precisely zero XML.

  • Comment number 29.

    I really like it - much faster than Firefox and a refreshingly clean user interface - although I sorely missed 'ad block plus' even after just a couple of minutes browsing.

    Once I got over the initial 'panic' caused by not finding a "home page" button, I soon discovered that the "New Tab" thumbnails are a much better replacement.

    I am pretty sure that this will become my browser of choice once the extensions and things like Java become available.

    A really nice bit of software.

  • Comment number 30.

    Am using Chrome at the moment.

    It is a million times faster than IE.

    It is less cluttered and more intuitive than Firefox.

    For speed alone it is a winner. For those of us with poor broadband speeds it is going to make working and playing at home so much easier.

    At last I can see the day when I can use applications on the web as a real alternative to desktop applications.

  • Comment number 31.

    Re: No. 29

    There is a home page button you just have to enable it in the options menu, on the basics tab

  • Comment number 32.

    It is really cool being a first version. Maybe it will be one of the most used. The only snag for me is that I use dual boot XP/Windows 98 SE (the second one for the Internet, for old programs and to backup/restore XP) and Chrome only works in XP.

  • Comment number 33.

    I dont like it much,
    The colour is awful,
    It does not offer extentions,
    No IE compatiblity for sites (I need this for work),
    And the proxy / network settings are the IE settings, unlike firefox which has its own.

    Maybe it will improve when it goes into final release but so far I see no reason to change from FF

  • Comment number 34.

    I cant believe Google haven't released a Google toolbar to fit its own browser. I regularly use it for SEO purposes and convenience. Poor show.

    However, I am impressed with its speed of loading pages and it looks quite sleek. I wont be changing from Firefox any time soon, but will be keeping an eye on this browser.

    Oh, also having problems with Java also. hmmm?


  • Comment number 35.

    DON'T BE CONNED BY THE TALK OF OPEN SOURCE

    Looking into this further:

    I have been duped by Google into believing Chrome was Open Source, IT ISN'T

    Google Chrome is built with open source code from Chromium.

    Chromium is the code Google have released to the open source community with the BSD license,

    Chrome built from this code has been adapted for Google commercial objectives (obviously they're not a charity)

    It comes with a pretty scary EULA (End User License Agreement)

    How many people who installed it read this bit of the EULA


    "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."


    Worrying?


    Chrome (and Chromium) are also based on out of date version of Webkit, this out of date version has already been patched by Apple for their Safari browser

    Please read http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1843
    for details of the CRITICAL flaw

    I am a big fan of Chrome (see my previous posts), but until this critical flaw is fixed it's unsecure to use it

    And I will be using the open source Chromium alternative so I don't have to grant Google a royalty free license to use any content I upload/create/display using their Chrome browser

  • Comment number 36.

    First impressions are Chrome is VERY slow on non-Google pages/aps. Flash does not seem to properly work full stop and it is far to minimalistic.s. Google has essentially released an Alpha product here and Firefox, Opera and Safari, hell, even Microsoft do not have anything to worry about.
    It is yet another browser for us web designers to have to test on. Stick to what you are good at Google because if this is the best you can do then you will be buried by Mozilla.

  • Comment number 37.

    can't use chrome until it gets a Flashblock add on as moving add on websites make me feel travel sick. Thank goodness for Firefox

  • Comment number 38.

    Our first impressions. Shiny but not dazzling yet. Seems memory hungry right now, And is that logo deliberately familiar? Like your comment on inertia. If this is a a new browser war it may be a cold rather than a hot one with lots of fixed positions and little real movement.
    http://gbckewroad.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 39.

    I've had good impressions from Google Chrome so far.

    Those of you who are complaining about the lack of Firefox add-ons (or Firefox-style add-ons) (and I'm one of them), don't worry, because they will be there.... the backend of Chrome is made using the Firefox engine (Gecko) and the Safari engine (WebKit) which means that you may even be able to use your Firefox plugins or even Safari plugins (yep, Safari plugins exist!)

    Also, because it is based on WebKit and Gecko it means that it is capable of rendering the pages in exactly the same way (therefore bypassing the complaints about "yet-another-browser-to-test", because if it works in Firefox and works in Safari then it'll be fine in Chrome).

    Chrome has actually come out top for rendering pages. I've recently done a review where I applied various web tests (including the infamous acid tests) to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer (using various operating systems). I blogged about the results here: http://vanirsystems.com/danielsblog/2008/09/03/google-chrome-my-verdict/

    It's early days for Chrome at the moment, but as it's going to be open source and it uses WebKit and Gecko then you'll see some things shuffling from Chrome into Safari and Firefox (and vice-versa). Microsoft will also get a bit of a kick (because of competition) to update their browser so that it actually works.

    Mac and Linux versions of Chrome should be out soon too. I look forward to it, even if I can see myself using Firefox for a lot longer.

    Many thanks,

    Daniel

    * Technology Evangelist at OpenLink Software ( http://www.openlinksw.com/ )
    * Technical Blogger and Article Writer ( http://vanirsystems.com/danielsblog )
    * Postgraduate in Machine Learning and Data Mining at the University of Bristol ( http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/ )

  • Comment number 40.

    not installed it yet, but going by all the negitives it's not worth my attention till they get the java and flash stuff working properly.

    also why no extensions although this could be implemented in the final release

    so untill then i'll still be using FF3

  • Comment number 41.

    This is mis-reporting by the BBC on a spectacular scale

    Chrome isn't open source, it never has een and never will be

    Chromium IS open source with the BSD licence

    Chrome is googles adaptation of the (open)source code they have released clled Chromium

    But rather than an open License it has a pretty strict EULA about what you can and can't do with it and what Google will do with your information

    Including a ROYALTY-FREE License to everything you upload (text/images/movies, anything!)

    Regular readers of this post sometimes give the writers stick for seemingly favouring Apple's products, but that is nothing like the mis-reporting that is going on with this release

    The real story should be:
    What is this multi-billion dollar company (which is attracting anti-trust attention) going to do with users information it gathers from the use of this browser?

    And why should it have a royalty free licence to users content/information/text or anything else?

  • Comment number 42.

    Im on a mac, but did install it on a desktop with decent spec. Must say that whilst its quite clearly better than IE, this is by no means a compliment (being punched causes less pain than being stabbed in the eye), so space for praise are limited.

    In terms of features, it is in a similar group to the cronies of the microsoft they so vehemently oppose; features that have long since been available on other platforms, renamed and done in different ways then rebranded as "ground breaking." The rendering engine in safari and FF3 are far more superior, and even with its "open source" backend, its still subtly promoting googles portfolio of websites, such as youtube and obviously the google search - things that microsoft gets great flak for.

    The "home page" has been on opera for about a year now (ish)! and private browsing has been on safari since as far as i can remember. In terms of speed though, I can load pages quicker on Camino (for macs) on a wireless broadband connection, faster than chrome can manage on a desktop with wired broadband; whilst it is beta, there is still none of the "outstanding performance" others have seen - in comparison to other browsers that are cross platform, open source, user friendly etc (which according to each browsers own brief is either in the current release, or promised for the next one)

    In one line; it could, should, and if released by another internet giant, would have been better, safer and more fun to use.

    if only yahoo had the ganucks to release theirs, instead of holding back to preserve the google-yahoo effective merge

  • Comment number 43.

    Nice work. My initial impressions were positive but it all depends on Google pursuing it further.

    http://zwadia.com/?p=53

    Moderators, I am not breaching house rules - this is a different URL from my previous postings. There is no intent to "spam" here.

  • Comment number 44.

    Why is this a story

    Google Chrome? I couldn't care less i am perfectly happy with IE the only thing i use firefox for is testing before app release and the fabulous firebug.

    The comments here are ludicrous

    Speed - woot!!! you saved 0.45624 milliseconds of page rendering time

    Add-ons - Firebug is the only decent FF addon the rest are just average to bad so whats the stink about add-ons.

    The great open-source label - its NOT open source neither is PHP/mySQL/Linux/Ubuntu.

    I wonder if the comments are from real developers or the work of over excited wordpress types.

    Please guys for your own good you need to get your life in order.

  • Comment number 45.

    I installed IE8 last night and found it tough going with so many buttons on the toolbar and it became so frustrating to use that I decided to download Chrome. WOW!!, what a difference, installed within a minute, it's fast, it's easy, it's simple, it's clever and I now have more screen space to view web pages as unwanted buttons are no more. Goodbye IE.

  • Comment number 46.

    On first impression Chrome has a nice slick interface and website loading times are way quicker than IE.

    With my websites the only issues I had were with some AJAX scripts it doesn't like but it's a Beta so not worried about that.. Flash loads fast though doesn't seem to be cached in the tempory files like IE.

    Having beta tested IE8 and being completely unimpressed the Beta of Chrome stands on it's own.

    Statcounter reported today on their blog at http://blog.statcounter.com/ that in ONE DAY Chrome has taken 1% market share already so it will be interesting to see how far it can go.

  • Comment number 47.

    Anyone noticed "inspect element" on the bottom of the menu upon right clicking on a page?
    Its something of a spiced up "view source" - I had fun demolishing a couple of websites with that, though if it has practical implications, I'm at a loss as to what they might be. Maybe anyone who still writes web pages in notepad might appreciate it?

    Downloaded Chrome from both IE and Mozilla just for the heck of it - I did find it quite amusing that IE didn't even appear to be able to display the user agreement box properly (though it was very happy to just let the download run - top marks for asthetics in that regard, not so good on the security though). I don't care if a site is trusted - I want to be told before an application starts installing itself on my computer.

    Chrome does seem kinda swish, but I have a couple of problems with it.

    Firstly (and most importantly) - my colour scheme is red.

    Secondly, the first java amplet I try to open leaves me with a big orange box saying "No plug-in available to display this content" - Fair enough, I've only just installed Chrome, but Firefox would have given me a nice little link to get me on my way. All of a sudden the soft intuitive interface has become a brick wall.

    Thirdly, I'm being told about my spelling mistakes here, but right click correction anybody? If you're releasing a browser into an already advanced market, at least build some of the most basic plug-ins into the release.

    Finally, I do find it slightly insulting that the mighty Google thinks they can win me over by giving me a tutorial through utube. As people have already pointed out, this multi-billion dollar Google competing with far less commecially minded firms. Google "getting down with the kids" on utube rather than hosting their own videos feels a bit like my bank trading on freecycle.

    Don't get me wrong, I quite like this browser, but I think I'll be playing with Mozilla's setting to make the interface more discreet and look for further improvement in FF3's address bar rather than make the switch to Chrome.

  • Comment number 48.

    @bringiton8989

    "Google "getting down with the kids" on utube rather than hosting their own videos feels a bit like my bank trading on freecycle."

    Given that Google own YouTube, they are hosting their own videos.

  • Comment number 49.

    Yesterday I downloaded Google's Terms of Service for Chrome - 8 A4 pages of legalese that you're supposed to read and agree to before using it ( I haven't downloaded it yet!).
    On the first page, I read: "2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or..."
    Does this mean that nobody under 18/21 is allowed to use Chrome? If so, Google's going to lose a lot of "customers".

  • Comment number 50.

    Following my praise I tried to do a couple of things on Facebook last night using Chrome (joining groups, adding new friends) and nothing happened, in IE and FF you get a little pop up box, either Chrome is blocking this or doesn't support it. Slightly annoying as I like the browser in general.

  • Comment number 51.

    I believe in distributing my eggs across a range of baskets. Google has already staked out quite enough territory, so I won't be availing myself of their browser largesse.

  • Comment number 52.

    The EULA has been updated, but the glaring security isn't!

    Well done for updating the EULA, what about the security hole?

    The first thing I noticed using Chrome wasn't it's speed or it's futuristic UI, it was how ad's many there are on the internet

    How many domain's a webpage connects to just to display

    How much longer pages with ad's take to load

    (Yes Chrome renders pages the quickest, but by displaying ad's and consequently different parts of pages being hosted by different domains, you have to wait for multiple servers to respond)

    So ignore benchmark testing of page loads or sites/reports these sites don't carry cross domain ad's, and use real sites that often carry ad's, they all take longer to load

    Chrome isn't released to take market share from IE

    It's been released to combat Firefox's growing market share and the popularity of the AdBlocking extensions

    Google will continue to support Mozilla to avoid anti-trust interest, but as Chrome develops with more features, and more people make the switch (only the 20% of people realise they can make the switch the other 80% don't know they can or don't care)

    Firefox may eventually dwindle to a few percent market share, and Google will quietly drop support, and instead support their own Chromium, and with it their ad supported Chrome

    Do no evil?
    Make your own mind up, but don't fall for blog hype

  • Comment number 53.

    Its very fast, was the biggest thing i took away from it, apart from that its similar to Firefox 3.

    I disagree with the post above that says this will not take market share away from IE.

    I think it undoubtedly will as the vast majority of internet users who use Google (and haven't ever heard of Firefox) might be tempted to download and install it, depending on how Google promotes it.

  • Comment number 54.

    What's the big problem with IE and Firefox that we need another one?
    Google should stick to it's day job. They are beginning to stick in my craw thinking they are the people's champion and able to bully people into change for the sake of it.

  • Comment number 55.

    Chrome

    Its easy to use, uncluttered, faster to start than firefox and most important not microsoft.

    Gets my vote.

  • Comment number 56.

    I read this somewhere on a blog:
    - try typing about:% in the address bar => result: Chrome crashes all the way, not only the active tab
    - try browsing to an https (SSL-secured) website (i.e: https://www.gmail.com) => result: blank page

  • Comment number 57.

    I honestly can't see why Google are challenging Firefox. It seems like a pointless idea really, since FF offers so much. By challenging these similar-target-groups, Google is effectively trying to steal the market. The idea that the didn't do this in the past is what made me like them and not big companies like Microsoft.

  • Comment number 58.

    Nothing about Chrome is going to make me move away from Opera, as a web developer.

    The simple fact is that if it works in Opera, it works in everything else, too. And if it doesn't work in Opera, you know where the blame lies - with the developers of the site, who were too lazy to design to standards.

    Still, I'm intrigued by this strange belief that there are only two web browsers - Firefox and Internet Explorer. Both are still heavily inferior to Opera, especially on draw rate.

    Chrome doesn't seem faster in this area, either, and it's memory footprint (when totalling up the multiple processes it spawns for each tab) was still larger than Opera's (as is Firefox's memory footprint).

    Since I'm using the latest beta of Opera and neither piece of software was a final build, I think this is still a fair comparison.

  • Comment number 59.

    Also, the EULA makes no sense whatsoever when you actually read it. It's very clear that Google have simply copy/pasted wholesale from other services.

    One has to wonder how serious they are about a project if they cannot be bothered to actually create an EULA for it specifically.

  • Comment number 60.

    All nice an new I suppose for luddites. However Opera users have enjoyed all these features for ages now.

    SpeedDial came in about a year back, and Google have copied it almost exactly. Firefox's "Awesome Bar", Yep, Opera did that too, before Firefox copied it, and then Google copied it from them.

    Opera is where the innovation is. If you want features that everyone else will be raving about next year:

    www.opera.com

    Did I also mention it's got 100% CSS3 selectors support, the highest pass rate on ACID3 of any released browser, it's the ONLY one of the browsers to have zero open vunrabilities, it's also the fastest in general Javascript benchmarking.

  • Comment number 61.

    " ... But more choice can only be a good thing, and help spark further innovation ... "
    Why can it "only be a good thing" ... ? For the most part, the term "innovation" in IT is used to mean little more than "a bit different".

  • Comment number 62.

    hang on hang on. Who said that Google Chrome is slower than the rest? Once I press the button on the icon, it popped up very quick. And, give Google a break....it Beta version by the way. It will get better.
    Congratulations Google.

  • Comment number 63.

    A lot of people here are missing the point as to what Google are trying to do here. The important bits of Chrome are not the user interface, the page rendering speed or whether you like the look of it. What sets Chrome apart are the process-separation of different tabs and the vastly improved javascript virtual machine. Like it or not, web technology is shifting away from static pages towards web-based applications. If you want to run applications in a web-browser, then you need to give them a separate memory and process space. The difference between Chrome and FF/IE is like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows 2000 or between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, and it will mean a vast difference in stability for the next generation of web applications.

    Similarly, web applications need to run on some kind of local virtual machine and for better or worse, the de facto standard language is Javascript. Hence the new Javascript engine is crucial to the direction that Google sees the web heading.

    Google haven't made Chrome to give you a better browsing experience on the sites you currently use. They have made it to serve as a platform for the web applications they want to make.

  • Comment number 64.

    1. It doesn't import my (many) Firefox favorites

    2. It shows lots of ads that Firefox + Adblock doesn't. BAD thing.

    Back to Firefox!

  • Comment number 65.

    I used Chrome beta for several hours. It was very fast, and very effective, BUT after some time I found my Outlook mail failing, and my broadband connection unconnected!! I switched off my base station, restarted my PC, and switched on the base station again - everything fine, and Chrome again working very fast and easy to use - BUT after some time exactly the same again - no internet connection, and my base station (which logs in independant of my PC) couldn't log in. So I uninstalled Chrome, and since then everything has been fine. So for me, Chrome will wait until the faults are elimintated, and the full version is ready.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Chrome browser is Google's Trojan horse. It allows a start page to the Internet to act as a hook to Google Services, Search, Groups, Chat, Storage, Indexing, File Sharing and other emerging applications that are Web based equivalents of Microsoft's business tools.

    More important, by tightly binding their Java based scripts and modules into Chrome and enabling developers to use open source tools such as their OpenSocial API, GoogleAps, Google IDE toolkits and conforming developer web services, they can ensure a level of uniform operability to the end user.

    Oh, forgot...Adsense compatibility throughout the above to make money.

    Chrome doesn't need to be the best, as browsers will continue to cross breed their features. It just has to be useful. Great Job Google!

  • Comment number 67.

    There have been a lot of comments about Google taking on MIcrosoft - but if that's so, which makes it a shame that they have only released a Windows version.

    I guess the day it makes business sense for Google to launch a non-windows version first is the day that Microsoft has finally been slain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Chrome is great. It's very very fast and I like the simplicity. There are so many 'features' on these browsers I just don't use. I'm just waiting for the Mac version though. My Firefox 3 is a bit of a lumbering beast and for some reason the Independent website always seems to crash it (probably the flash plug in). Being able to kill the tab rather than the session gets my vote. The window design looks very Linux like - Google OS anyone?

  • Comment number 69.

    I am amazed at the amount of comments complaining about the lack of versions other than Windows.

    Google has already said Mac and Linux versions are forthcoming. What more can they say? If Mac and Linux versions aren't ready for beta testing they are wise to delay those, while releasing the version that is ready for testing. That testing will benefit all versions too.

    If I were a software developer and had to prioritise one OS over another as part of a plan to roll out to all major OS's available, I'd certainly target the one with 85% takeup rates!

  • Comment number 70.

    Some links of bbc news business news which I like to open charts don´t work in my case, it appears like an error. I am surprised to see this elementary error in Google Chrome.

 

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