Verse Of The Day

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google Chrome versus Hype

Well, everybody in the online world seems to be writing about Google Chrome browser. Lots of hype, both good and bad. It's going to kill of Firefox and Internet Explorer, it's the final nail in the coffin for Microsoft, it's buggy, it's evil, it's great, it's just a beta, it's the next big thing, it will fizzle out and nobody will care about it, etc.

Well, I jumped on the bandwagon. I am currently using it to write this post. I used it off and on throughout the day alongside Firefox and Explorer. Here are my thoughts, as if anybody asked....
  • It has some nice features, some of which are admittedly borrowed from other browsers. They are nice, but not enough to make me switch, not nice enough to make Microsoft tremble in fear.
  • It is lacking some features of other browsers that I have come to rely on, and for that reason it's not "replacing" my other browsers any time soon (or ever).
    • Viewing XML and XSL files -- they show up blank or with some text here and there. Basically it tries to treat them like HTML and ignores most of the tags.
    • Sidebar - I have been using sidebar for the menu panel of my Bookmarks Launcher+ app. (shameless plug)
    • RSS support, e.g. Firefox's live bookmarks feature
    • Plugins, especially 'Firebug'.
  • It seems pretty zippy, but speed wasn't an issue with my other browsers, so not sure this one will make it "win".
  • Some of the stuff was a little odd to get used to at first, e.g. lack of menu bar or title bar,lack of bookmarks menu (unless you check the "Always show bookmarks bar" option under the wrench icon.
  • The "New Tab" window is kind of neat once you get used to it -- the lack of bookmarks menu above is actually right there when you open a new tab, along side thumbnails of most often visited sites, and a list of recently closed tabs, and ability to search your history.
  • Read some reports of the back button not working. It's been working for me. Even still, it is a beta, there will be bugs.
  • I like the idea of each tab being a separate process in case one gets hung up. I have had that problem a lot with Firefox, especially when trying to open PDF's or long loading pages. To that end, the Task Manager window and the info for nerds link is kind of cool.
My impression, it's a browser. Pure and simple. For some reason Google felt the need to reinvent the browser with lots of mature fully featured browsers already out there.

Chrome isn't bad, but it's not worth all the hype either. It will be interesting to see if it carves out a small niche, takes huge chunks of market share, or just fizzles out comepletly. My guess if either niche or fizzle at this point.

No comments: