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Darren Waters

Google's Chrome and the browser end game

  • Darren Waters
  • 2 Sep 08, 01:47 GMT

The news that Google is launching its own open source browser, called Chrome, has understandably got the blogosphere all excited.

Google search pageIt's certainly the biggest news in the browser space since Firefox started to dent Internet Explorer's lead and many people see this as a re-ignition of the browser wars.

A few things struck me:

1. For all Mozilla's success with Firefox, it still only has a 20% market share globally. I'll be fascinated to see if the Google cachet and brand reach will be able to drive Chrome's success any higher than Firefox.

2. What does this mean for Firefox long term? Google is one of the biggest supporters of Firefox. It has contributed financially and in terms of development talent. According to PaidContent, "just last week Google extended its support of the Mozilla foundation until 2011".

Despite this, Mozilla will be feeling a little uncomfortable right now.
The two organisations are next door neighbours in Mountain View and I imagine the gnashing of teeth from Mozilla were easily heard across at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway.

3. What does this mean for Safari? Just like Safari, Chrome is built on the open source web kit browser. Does this boost Safari because they are a common platform? Or does it mean game over for Apple's hopes in the browser space? I suspect more of the latter.

4. This is going to mean more work for web developers. It may be based on open standards but undoubtedly web application designers are going to have to take into account the quirks and differences of Chrome to really exploit the browser.

5. Chrome is the open source desktop people have been demanding from Google for many years. Linux supporters have long been asking for Google to release a consumer version of the Linux OS Google itself uses internally. But Google has always resisted this. And because the browser is becoming as flexible as the desktop, Chrome, in many ways, is the open source OS people have been calling for.

6. Do we really need another browser? There's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, Flock and many, many others.

7. This is really about building a browser which leverages Google's own web applications and makes it more seamless to use functionality like Google Gears, which blurs the offline and online space. Just as Internet Explorer 8 ties in with Windows Live, Chrome will make the Google space more united.

8. We really need a better browser for mobiles and not desktops. Expect to see Chrome as part of Google's open source Android platform for mobiles.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    As a software engineer for many years, I am amused to see that the "browser" finally did go full circle and get called a "desktop". The battle between rich and thin clients has waged far longer than most are aware, and it rages still. Next logical step, as you imply, replace the entire os, but then what have you got? Probably a better designed os, and little or no browser whose functionality has now been built in.

    Where next? Ooo! I know, a "super browser" that runs inside the... oh sod it.

  • Comment number 2.

    The web has gone from being a library of documents/media to being a full-on graphical user interface. Websites are now more than complex file-stores, they're powerful applications which we make remote sessions to with our browsers; much like our forfathers did with telnet and mainframes - even if it does still largely rely on HTTP and a highly evolved form of HTML mixed with a whole load of other new and organically evolved technologies being used to join the numerous dots needed to achieve this.

    If anything WWW is almost turning into X11 and if Google are serious about 'virtual desktops' and 'web apps', that's the kind of form their vision is going to have to take.

    Thing is, if they're serious, they'll have to be a lot more radical with how they redesign the browser. In fact, a redesign isn't enough, I think they're going to have to re-write, and ultimately replace the WWW completely. And not before time.

  • Comment number 3.

    With regard to point 3, Firefox is not based on WebKit, it is based on Gecko. The fact the Chrome is using WebKit to render pages means that sites built for Chrome will also work in Safari, which is good news. The market share of the various rendering engines (Trident, Gecko, WebKit, Presto etc.) is more interesting to me than market share of each individual browser.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'd probably not use it. My experience of Google is while its a good search engine, everything it produces for download is slow and filled with ads - even more so than the browser.

  • Comment number 5.

    Some more thoughts here on Google Chrome, took into account all possible angles to give it a holistic perspective:

    http://zwadia.com/?p=52

  • Comment number 6.

    "Just like Firefox and Safari, Chrome is built on the open source web kit browser."
    Firefox is actually built on Gecko, not WebKit.

  • Comment number 7.

    As a web developer, it is somewhat annoying to see another browser popup from a design stand point; unless, of course, they manage something no other browser has yet achieved and actually give full 100% standards complience without the bizarre quirks.

    To be perfectly honest though, I would be very surprised to see this make any kind of noticable impact.

    Explorer will retain its large share, mainly because probably 60 or 70% of that share is made up from the corporate sector who are reluctant to use open source software and also because a large chunk are just plain un-aware that there is anything outside of Microsoft (just like Americans seem to be unaware there is anything outside of America).

    Firefox is unlikely to lose users to it either unless it has drastic performance and/or better features over the mozilla browser - which is hugely unlikely.

    That does really only leave Safari to be hit, but then it has such a small share of the browser community that if it does get hit, it will likely go un-noticed.

    To be honest, even from a developer's stand point, this doesn't really change an aweful lot - and it will change even less if IE 8 is as complient on standards as Microsoft are boasting.

  • Comment number 8.

    "6. Do we really need another browser? There's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, Flock and many, many others."

    To be fair, we don't really need another technology blog, but don't let that worry you.

    If each new browser that comes along manages to take some market share from IE it can only be a good thing. When web pages have to be written for many different browsers then it puts the emphasis on the developers to make sure that their browsers are standards compliant. At the moment, web designers need to make sure that their site is IE compliant because it makes up such a huge chunk of the market.

  • Comment number 9.

    @MonkeyBot5000

    Ouch!

  • Comment number 10.

    Nothing like a bit of competition. But its a shame that Google didn't push firefox more. It looks like firefox post 2011, will go the way of netscape, when the purse strings get tighter. But this is the logical move in light of IE with its ~80% of the PC browser market, and with inPrivate coming along with IE8.

    However getting ppl to switch from IE is very difficult, it does most things a person wants from a browser relatively well, so for 80% of ppl, i'm sure there is no incentive to go through the hassle of installing another browser. (sorry but its mainly web savvy ppl who actually give a hoot about which browser they use, most ppl just use back, refresh, home, address bar and favorites, and not all the fancy features)

    David
    http://www.joots.co.uk

  • Comment number 11.

    " 3. What does this mean for Safari? "

    Well, if Chrome kills Safari, it kills the major funding and input behind its own rendering engine.

    Yes, WebKit comes from Apple - it may be open source (based on KHTML and now back porting to KHTML) but it's paid for by Apple in that they are Apple employees working on it full time.

    Google will go after IE plain and simple - it doesn't want to damage firefox or safari - the problem is - those who care about browsers already use firefox and safari (and opera) - those who don't care or aren't technical enough to know about browsers use whatever comes along (IE) and getting rid of the apathy and fear of switching is not going to be easy.

  • Comment number 12.

    The "many people" alluded to in the link to this page and in the second paragraph are wrong. This shouldn't ignite any browser wars. The browser wars were an arms race between Netscape and Internet Explorer where incompatible and non-standard features (starting with the FONT tag and ending with two completely incompatible Document Object Models) were bolted in as quickly as possible to try and force people to use one browser or another and create lock in. Chrome is just another "more standards compliant than all the others" browser. If Google had come along and said "HTML and Javascript are wrong, we're going to invent a new markup language and a new scripting language" then we might be facing a browser war, but Google would need a lot more clout than they have to force a new model in. Microsoft did it by making IE part of the OS. Google don't have that leverage.

    Also...

    Android already has a webkit-based browser. Google's announcement for Chrome says that the decision to use Webkit as a base was in part due to their successful experiences with it in the mobile platform.

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't know who wrote the main article about Google's browser, but I woudn't have categorised Picasa as a web app. Google Maps and Documents yes, but Picasa?

  • Comment number 14.

    "5 ... Chrome, in many ways, is the open source OS people have been calling for."

    This is totally wrong. Google have spent massive sums of time and money enhancing Linux for their internal distro

    This is like you heralding Microsoft for giving out the source code for Office when all they give you is Calculator

  • Comment number 15.

    8. We really need a better browser for mobiles and not desktops.

    Opera Mini is superb! Try it!

  • Comment number 16.

    4. This is going to mean more work for web developers.

    If it does then Google will have failed and have suitable scorn poured
    on it's browser efforts. In reality there are 4 web-browsers I can
    think of:

    Gecko (the engine of Firefox, Flock, etc...)
    WebKit (the engine of Safari, Chrome, etc...)
    Opera
    IE

    All four have stated they are striving to meet web-standards defined
    by the W3C. At least 3 probably will be fully standards compliant
    (guess which one may not). Web developers should have learnt the hard
    way about developing for certain browsers so I'm pretty confident this
    is another positive step in developing the open web. Open Source
    projects have nothing to fear from competition from other Open Source
    projects.


  • Comment number 17.

    I think people are missing the point. Chrome isn't about the rendering engine used. Rendering is a done deal. The interesting bits are the structure around the renderer. Having each tab in it's own process is an interesting idea and not something I've seen before (although I'm not an expert on browser design or history).
    Now I'm not sure if the cost of the processes will be worth the pay off, but I'm willing to give it a try. They seem to think the overheads level off after an initial hump unlike a traditional design where the overheads just keep increasing. I remain to be convinced.

    But we don't want Chrome on a phone! A lot of phones still don't have a protected memory model internally. Processes are kept to the minimum (just 2 or 3 - 1 for the phone, 1 for Java etc). to keep the overheads to a minimum and reduce context switch costs.

  • Comment number 18.

    @AlexBennee makes the salient point. WebKit, Gecko and Opera are all pushing to ward better standards compliance. Just look at the latest push towards ACID3 compliance. Microsoft are saying the right things but in the end IE's ACID3 performance is less than stellar.

    I will be downloading Chrome to give it a look and to test. I don't envisage moving form FF3, my current browser, but you never can tell.

  • Comment number 19.

    Chrome would be interesting on a phone, but if you want another browser on a phone would it not be best to enable full PC like web surfing on a phone first (Java, Flash etc)

    however on the PC i won't be changing to Chrome unless it has any benifits over FireFox which I think is still further ahead of IE in design and features.

  • Comment number 20.

    How long will it be before Microsft are lifted off the pillory and Google placed there for pushing thier own software and applications to the detriment of anyone else. I can just imagine the queues of lawyors all rubbing thier hands with glee at the prospect of future fortunes to be made here.

  • Comment number 21.

    There really is some baffling journalism going on here.

    Point 3 for example. You should cross out your mistake in claiming Firefox uses the WebKit engine, not remove it entirely. Its dishonest to wipe a mistake out without acknowledging you made that mistake.

    Point 4. It means whatever goes into WebKit from Google's end will benefit Safari in the long term.

    Point 6. Flock and Camino are just builds of Firefox/Gecko. They are hardly "different browsers". They're just skins and pre-packaged plugins.

    Point 8. The mobile browser for Android and this browser are the same thing. Any development for one will benefit the other. Much like Apple and Safari with the iPhone. It is Mobile IE that is in serious danger now. IE 8 beta 2 is a hideous broken piece of software, and IE 8 and Mobile IE have absolutely no common grounds in development terms. This is why most smartphones are shipping with Opera on them now.

  • Comment number 22.

    The point about standards is an interesting one. I fully support web standards and the appearance of yet another browser actually makes the case for them even stronger.


    I would hope Google got it right with standards compliance.


    But even if web browsers remain disappointing in their support for web standards the various toolkits/frameworks such as Dojo and Prototype ought to ease the web designer's burden when it comes to supporting the veritable zoo of browsers and browser levels.

    And on Webkit itself it's worth noting that Adobe AIR (as well as Safari) is built on Webkit. Further impetus to its development has got to be a good thing.

    And I say all this as a big supporter of Mozilla and Firefox in particular. (And a neophyte AIR programmer.)

  • Comment number 23.

    The biggest reason I switched from IE to FF all those years ago was because it offered refuge from the ads that were taking up ever-increasing space on the websites I visited. Considering that Google are the UK's first/second largest advertiser (along with ITV) they would be stupid to shoot themselves in the foot and provide/allow for anything along the lines of Firefox's Ad Block Plus add-on.

    I'll probably get Chrome when it's launched to have a play around with, the same as I did with IE8 (and will continue to do so when IE8 is out of beta), but I very much doubt that it'll replace FF as my browser of choice.

  • Comment number 24.

    To be honest, quite a few projects that Google have started tend to lack support or response from the engineers. While in some cases, Google Mail for instance, with a lack of a similar alternative, this can be ignored - in a piece of software like a browser, I don't think that this would be acceptable; especially with the amount of community support Firefox receives.
    Google just seems to create things, then leave their users high and dry.

  • Comment number 25.

    To misquote somebody or other - its the page stupid - not the browser. They're all of a muchness these days...

  • Comment number 26.

    Has anyone tried the new IE8 Beta? It's horrendous!
    Every page requires you to confirm to Kaspersky that the settings have been changed, it's slow, it's ugly and in the majority it's a copy of what Firefox have been offering for years ...except worse!
    I can't believe that people are still so dedicated to IE. Is it blinkered vision?
    I haven't used IE for years now and I wont be going back anytime soon.
    I welcome Google's addition to the market and will certainly be downloading it tomorrow and giving it a whirl.

  • Comment number 27.

    "...undoubtedly web application designers are going to have to take into account the quirks and differences of Chrome to really exploit the browser"

    If any web developer honestly agrees with a statement like this, then they have no one but themselves to blame for the extra work they bring upon themselves.

  • Comment number 28.

    This is all way too soon. It's going to be months, maybe years, before Chrome becomes big enough to make the kind of difference that Google are expecting.

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh joy, another browser full of secuity holes needing weekly patches.

  • Comment number 30.

    1. the main reason for this, obviously, is that every newly sold PC is bundled with IE, so most Windows users simply don't know that there is a whole different universe out there. MS does not encourage people to install anything else but their own products.

    2. I don't think anyone at the Mozilla Foundation is worrying about this. Mozilla is a fully featured web browser. Google's Chrome is a light-weight browser which does not offer all the features Mozilla and Firefox have.

    3. Same as 2. Apple should not have to worry at all.

    4. No trouble at all, I expect Google to respect W3C standards as Open Source web tools generally do. The only company not respecting W3C is Microsoft, hence it has become a lot more work for web developers and designers.

    5. No idea what you're talking about, but I'm thinking you're wrong.

    6. Yes, the Internet is not a consumer paradise with just a few brands to pick from, but an environment where anyone can build applications. If someone creates something better and which is useful, people will use it.

    7. Yes, so?

    8. True. Chrome will be an enhanced Google Desktop Search and when it is small then it should be easy to port from mobile devices.

  • Comment number 31.

    1. the main reason for this, obviously, is that every newly sold PC is bundled with IE, so most Windows users simply don't know that there is a whole different universe out there. MS does not encourage people to install anything else but their own products.

    2. I don't think anyone at the Mozilla Foundation is worrying about this. Mozilla is a fully featured web browser. Google's Chrome is a light-weight browser which does not offer all the features Mozilla and Firefox have.

    3. Same as 2. Apple should not have to worry at all.

    4. No trouble at all, I expect Google to respect W3C standards as Open Source web tools generally do. The only company not respecting W3C is Microsoft, hence it has become a lot more work for web developers and designers.

    5. No idea what you're talking about, but I'm thinking you're wrong.

    6. Yes, the Internet is not a consumer paradise, with just a few brands to pick from, but an environment where anyone can build applications. If someone creates something better, people will use it.

    7. Yes, so?

    8. True. Chrome will be an enhanced Google Desktop search and when it is small then it should be easy to port from mobile devices.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm a hardcore Mozilla fan so Chrome is going to have to be very good indeed for me to defect.

    Google should forget about web browsers (incidentally the home page on my mozilla is google) and concentrate on the REAL online problem: breaking eBay's monopoly on online auctions. As a hobby seller I'm getting increasingly sick of eBay's attempts to drive me away with fee increases and restrictive selling rules grossly favouring the buyer. Google is one of the few online powers big enough to set up a rival organisation.

  • Comment number 33.

    Having gone through the comic that accompanied the launch I can see
    Google have some very interesting ideas about how to build a browser.
    It's also very clear that Chrome is a platform optimised for serving Web
    Applications which is a direct assault on Microsoft's near monopoly of
    computing. It seems very clear Google see computers of the future as
    providing a screen, keyboard and connection to the internet where
    everyone will store their documents in "the cloud", preferably
    Google's.

    I seriously doubt Google want to crush the open source browsers but
    I'm sure they are hoping they take note of where they are going and
    what browsers need to provide to be compelling as a platform.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have downloaded Chrome, and I like what I see...

  • Comment number 35.

    I've just downloaded and tried it.

    First impression: I don't think that Firefox or IE (or Opera or Safari) need to worry at all. 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 far *too* slick - it doesn't even let you choose the install location.

    It also runs far 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 for the foreseeable future.

  • Comment number 36.

    It's interesting to see all these anti-Microsoft rants about how everyone else follows the standards and they don't.

    At the company I work for, we've had lots of problems with apps that work perfectly in Firefox and don't work in Safari. Or vice versa. So clearly they don't comply with the same standards either.

    For goodness sake grow up and just use whichever browser you prefer. The MS-bashing gets very boring.

  • Comment number 37.

    I've been using Chrome for the past couple of hours and it's very good.

    Imported everything over from Firefox, it's quick, simple and a welcome addition to the browser family. It's good to throw in competition to make sure everyone keeps improving and driving technology forward. Just look at what the Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo war has created.

    Chrome seems to take away a lot of the unnecessary faffing about that you have to do with most browsers, this can only be a good thing!

    Video Clips, games, news sites, Social Networking all works great. The tab crashing system rather than browser crashing feature is a great idea, as is the opening page with Most Visited showing for quick launch.

    All in all a great new product I'll keep using it to see how it stands up on a day to day basis.

    Good work Google!

  • Comment number 38.

    Oh no NOT AGIAIN!

    (web developer since 1993)

  • Comment number 39.

    "This is going to mean more work for web developers. It may be based on open standards but undoubtedly web application designers are going to have to take into account the quirks and differences of Chrome to really exploit the browser."

    This is wrong, because the quirks and differences are from the rendering engine, not the browser - so in this case, webkit.


    5. Chrome is the open source desktop people have been demanding from Google for many years. Linux supporters have long been asking for Google to release a consumer version of the Linux OS Google itself uses internally. But Google has always resisted this. And because the browser is becoming as flexible as the desktop, Chrome, in many ways, is the open source OS people have been calling for.

    This is nonsense. Logical fallacy by metaphor. Just because the browser is flexible does not mean that its an OS

    6. Do we really need another browser? There's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, Flock and many, many others.

    The real question is "Do we really need another RENDERING ENGINE", to which the answer is no. But Chrome is good, and very fast, so yes, its an improvement on current browsers, and so welcome for me, and I presume others that like it.

  • Comment number 40.

    Hey did they just put in a strategic hyphen in their name becoming go-ogle? Big Brother is not anymore a TV show, it has now migrated to a PC near you and me. After years of half attempts, it has now well and truly moved - lock, stock and barrel - and resides, on your innocent choosing, in the comfortable condominium of your C drive. Don't get fooled by their incognito mode - that only applies to storage on your local disk such as cookies and cakes. It has nothing to do with what happens in their large server farms, or how the moolah flows into their ever expanding accounts.

  • Comment number 41.

    not sure if this has been posted yet. But i think you should all be aware of this article

    http://tapthehive.com/discuss/This_Post_Not_Made_In_Chrome_Google_s_EULA_Sucks

    specifically regards to the google chrome tos

    11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

    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.



  • Comment number 42.

    Chrome - Quite nice - but as with IE7 and Firefox 3 - does it have any features which Opera did not have first?
    I suggest all readers try Opera - the best browser in my opinion.
    Hopefully the use of another browser will make those people who still insist on creating websites which only display as they intended in IE re-write them to comply with standards.

  • Comment number 43.

    Further to Laythun's comment:

    'Services' includes Chrome (see 1.1), and 'Content' includes 'data files, written text, computer software, music, audio files or other sounds, photographs, videos or other images' (see 8.1).

    Presumably that means that if I upload my thesis which I'm submitting for PhD using a Web-based FTP client in Chrome, Google automatically receive a right to do whatever they please with what has taken me five years to write, at no cost to them, as long as it can be construed as 'promoting the Services'.

  • Comment number 44.

    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 45.

    The biggest reason I switched from IE to FF all those years ago was because it offered refuge from the ads that were taking up ever-increasing space on the websites I visited.

    -----------

    So you're yet another freeloader then who feels they deserve access to someone's investment and hard work without giving anything in return.

    It's people like you who have forced the new generation of full page "skip this" ads on us. Banner advertising was bringing in enough to sustain the growth og the web five years ago until people started to find ways to circumvent it, which lead to falling rates but no fall in costs, thus the advertising space increases.

    Nothing comes for free (and so it shouldn't), if you use something regularly then for Gods sake do something to support it or it might not be there for much longer.

  • Comment number 46.

    @ hackerjack:
    But I never clicked on those ads. Ever. So me not seeing them any more hasn't affected my online behaviour - the advertisers still aren't getting my attention, just as they didn't before.
    When watching something on TV, I often do something else for the 3-4 minutes of adverts at each commercial break. If I'm watching something on Sky+, I might stay in my seat but I'll fast-forward through those same ads. Are you going to berate me for that as well?

    Plus, if 75% of the online population still uses IE, then that's a lot of people still visiting those sites, still seeing those ads. If there's a site I really want to support, I'll try to donate to it directly; I figure they'll appreciate the £5 more than the 5p they might receive if I had clicked on any banner or sponsored link.

  • Comment number 47.

    "For all Mozilla's success with Firefox, it still only has a 20% market share globally".

    Competing against the Microsoft juggernaut, 20% is pretty good going. Internet Explorer is the installed default browser for (guess) 95% of computer users, so 20% represents a huge number of people who've made a different choice.

    With Mac and Linux on the increase, Firefox is an incredibly important option to have available.

    Chrome is missing some important aspects (e.g. RSS support), but it's a beta so I'll judge it fully when 1.0 ships. Whether we need another browser or not, Chrome makes Internet Explorer look very 2002 and it's innovative features will spur on the other browser providers. And it costs the consumer nothing. Is that so bad?

  • Comment number 48.

    http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/03/google_chrome_eula_sucks/

    Would you be happy for a photo of your child you just attached to an email you sent from Chrome to a family member; to be granted a royalty free licence for Google to use on their network as they see fit?

    If you use Chrome, then you obviously are happy for this to happen as that as what their EULA states could happen

    Google supports the free software movement, but they haven't done this because they are afraid of IE, they have done this because they are afraid of Firefox growing market share, more specifically they are afraid of AdBlock Plus, this has now gained enough traction to be a threat to Googles business model

    So what will happen is Google will continue to develop Chrome, based on Open Source code they have released in the form of Chromium, they will continue to help fund Mozilla for another year or two to help avoid anti-trust allegations, they will promote Chrome on their hugely visited and excellent search page, and they will hope that they can gain market share, not at the expense of IE, but of FF

    It wouldn't be in Googles interest to be the big guy, they would sooner IE still be the biggest, and that way gain all the anti-trust attention

    Only the blinkered/blind/foolish can't see it

    Saying that it is an excellent, fast attractive browser, and with the addition of a couple of extensions (no script/flash block/adblock plus) would become the 1st choice of many including me

    We shall have to see how the Open Source community develop Chromium.

    No body who works in the open source community including myself is free loader, quite the opposite infact as large amounts of time are spent developing and bug fixing, and if it wasn't for the open source community there woudn't be an internet for company's to make billions out of

  • Comment number 49.

    oops the above link was supposed to be
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/03/google_chrome_eula_sucks/

    Not the one from my rss reader (which incidently Chrome doesn't support)

  • Comment number 50.

    "Web developers should have learnt the hard way about developing for certain browsers so I'm pretty confident this is another positive step in developing the open web."

    The key word there is should. Even Google doesn't get this right - their web apps, including Gmail, all make heavy use of browser-specific features (they use special software to generate several versions of each for all the supported browsers). If you want to use the full version of, say, Gmail in some browser not on the supported list, such as (say) Konqueror - which is ironically where the rendering engine for their new browser came from - you can't.

  • Comment number 51.

    High kudos to Chrome. I`ve used it all day and found no problems. It`s quicker than IE and brilliant to use.

    The bookmarks are easily to access which for me is ideal as I have plenty and the pages load quickly and with no problems.

  • Comment number 52.

    More power to webkit.

    Chrome joins the many (150+ browsers and applications with webkit embedded) and after years of split, KHTML and Webkit are together again.

    Can only be good for Apple (the driving force behind webkit) - a bit of cross development stimulation from Google could be good for the browser engine that leads in standards compliance.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have just installed Chrome on my PC last night and from what I have seen of it so far i am impressed.

    Installation was quick and easy and all bookmarks were imported from firefox successfully

    I will be using this from now on and won't be going back

  • Comment number 54.

    Interesting that Opera barely gets a mention, but the fact that Goole have "borrowed" most of innovations that Opera users have been enjoying for many months/years kinda gets forgotten.

    That Google New Tab page? Yep ripped off totally from Opera's Speed Dials.

    Tabs? Another Opera innovation that Firefox, IE, Chrome and now everyone under the sun has got in on.

    Mouse Gestures?

    The Page Text searching history, all in Opera for along time

    The fact it also the most secure, and the fastest browser out there, you feel all this noise over Chrome (and Firefox), Opera is getting a raw deal, they are more focused it seems on making a great browser, than PR spin.

  • Comment number 55.

    Suprised none of the other browsers have copied Opera's bookmark/notes/speeddial and search engine sync features..

    I suppose it's only a matter of time.

  • Comment number 56.

    Fast dial extesion for Firefox is great

    However after using Chrome since launch, my most recently visited sites now perfectly replicates it

    So no problems there,

    Just waiting for a version of adbock to come out for Chromium (the open source version of Chrome)

    I never realised how many ads were on the internet, until using Chrome

  • Comment number 57.

    "For all Mozilla's success with Firefox, it still only has a 20% market share globally."

    Does the 80% assume that every PC has IE, even if the hard-drive has been reformatted and another OS installed? What about browsers with the 'identify as IE' button checked?

    To be honest I'd hate FFs percentage to go down. It's hard enough to get project managers to accept anything other than IE as it is. But the simple truth is that most M$ users I meet don't know (or care) that there are better alternatives than IE.

    Back to the subject -
    Is it going to be just another browser? If so, then I doubt it will match FF.
    I don't know why, but I've a horrible feeling that this is going to lead to a whole raft of new proprietary features to push this as the starting point to a remote desktop platform. How else are they going to make any money? AJAX can do a lot, but unless Google are going to extend that (or a similar, open technology) then I can see them coming up with new proprietary features. And as Google still keeps some things closed source this may cause complications. To me it looks like another step in the Google vs Microsoft saga, and as they can't take money off an OS that's free or one that's installed as soon as the PC is built they're going to have to cut into the windows apps market. A few additions and they can have drag-and-drop graphics, text highlighting and next thing you've got an online word-processor. I still meet people who prefer to pay over £400 for Microsoft Office Professional rather than use OpenOffice for free. The only money in Linux is in technical support and training, so entering the windows apps market seems like a logical next step.
    It looks to me like the first step in the return of the thin client.

  • Comment number 58.

    @ Blue_Blood1

    Just get Opera, it's got the Fast Dial, no extension needed. it's got Ad-Block, no extension needed. Infact it does 95% of what the best Firefox add-on do, without the bloat.

    It's also the most standards compliant browser released (84% in Acid3). Apart from that, it's also the most secure (0 open security exploits, much less than Firefox, IE and Webkit).


  • Comment number 59.

    Ahem. Webkit 100% Acid3, passes all CSS3 tests (as does Opera) and is faster in javascript tests.

  • Comment number 60.

    I was suprised that this browser was released with the "cannot scroll up" bug, which affects many people - anyone with a synaptics touch pad for example (and remember that most laptops use these).

    It seems that the issue has been fixed in developer builds. However, I wanted to continue testing Chrome without this bug so I created a patch which fixes the issue.

    The patcher finds and patches the installed chrome.dll (or any other version if you run it from the same folder) to fix the issue. It is a 1-byte change.

    You can download it here:
    http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/pjt2v07/chrome/

  • Comment number 61.

    I'm not a techie type. I started using Chrome at home the day it was launched, and compared with Firefox, it's a lot quicker.

    I like the home page which shows the most visited sites.

    The only drawback fom my point of view is that using Chrome to access Blogger (google's blogging platform!) it sticks in funny symbols (^etc) for reasons I cannot fathom. So I have to post to my blogs via firefox. I'm sure that will be fixed before long.

  • Comment number 62.

    6. Do we really need another browser? There's Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Camino, Flock and many, many others

    I am using it now for few weeks...and I think we do need this browser.

    1. The big thing, it starts pretty much right away when you click on it.. (ie7-firefox and definitely flock) have a very long start time. T
    2. Chrome doesn't crash your pc (or the browser) when one tabled is freezing.... so now you can finally start using tablets ad they should. (says google)

    3. I couldn’t test this not freezing, because the browser hasn't freeze yet ( ; the browser also use just a little space.. so it just seem to be where Google stands for.. no grape.. just the work.

    4. Also.. it loads pages very quick.. so internet is actually faster.. also the browser look different form all the other browser..they all have this menu above.. chrome has only tab’s It is a Beta.. and not all the application’s already work on it.. (like a lot of streaming divx site's) but for the regular visiting’s it is great!

    And I think it as a good change of succes becaus:

    1. Because it is a Beta they haven’t really promote it yet, but as soon as they start doing that they surely are getting people to wane try it… they can add it on their own Google package, and it will get people to be interested.. because Google jus works as a search engine..

    2. Even people who don’t care about browsers..they do know Google as a solid and innovated product. My whole family is using Chrome now after my enthusiasm..

    3. Mostly because they complain so much about I.E 7 which is the most crappie browser there is, because it stuck all the time.

    4. The browser won’t reach every one, but every one who is at home and learned that google.com is the best search engine.. can also learn that Chrome is going to be the best browser…..

    I am just really, really optimistic about its speed and stabilities. I.O.7 just had to much freezing by using tab’s!

 

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