Chrome is the best browser out there.
Yes, I do seriously mean it! No, it’s technically not the best, nor in form and looks, nor in functionality.
After test driving it I can call a list of great stuff:
- it feels lightweight [on a core duo with 2gig of RAM, have no slower machine to test it on]
- runs without much hastle being a one day old (ok, now 3day old) beta [I know, they took Webkit, and even an old version with the flood bug in it and added V8 and some Mozilla/Firefox code]
- awesome Omnibar [yup I know, code comes straight from Firefox’s Awesomebar]
- new tab pages rocks [unless you just like to visit a number of pr0n pages a lot and forgot to use the “incognito” setting]
- incognito setting [aka pr0n mode, same as IE8 just boasted about – even the gossip newspapers mentioned new IE8 would come with “pr0n-button”]
- finally the tabs behave like tabs should behave [but then that is my personal opinion, others may like their tabs different]
There is also a list ranging from “no, not good” up to “Oww crap!” bad things:
- java still dead, even after installing new 6.10 beta that is supposed to support Webkit [probably my mistake for downloading the wrong nightly build or so, but what the heck, also on the flip side: better no java applets, they always seemed equally bad to my system performance and security as ActiveX]
- no themes, no plugins, NO-ADBLOCK [will probably come soon, but then there’s the question if this will not put a big burden on performance, a clean Firefox install also is rather clean and fast]
- some pages will not render correctly in it [probably a web page issue but then same page in Safari seems to work fine]
- not for OSX/Linux [will also come soon, but hey, what’s the issue? Styling? Don’t tell me the version for win is so nice with it’s Teletubby themed blue bar Windows XP look. with so many *nix affeccionados drooling over the opportunity to port it to their platform we should have seen functioning builds from day 2 onwards]
- privacy!!! [ok, they changed the ToS/license already and you can turn off the use of Omnibar, but still, for a company under such scrutiny over privacy lately they could have done a better job]
- yet another browser [on the other hand, in between IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Shiira, Camino, Konqueror, … one more should go quite unnoticed]
- security holes from the past [on the other hand it is a beta thing based on an old Webkit version, probably the next release will contain the update]
But that’s all irrelevant compared to this:
this one is not released by the usual suspects!
Yes you read this well. Apple unveiling Safari for Windows caused quite a ripple in the IT world. It would take over any browsers share, either to the benefit of dethroning IE as the main browser or to the detriment of smaller browsers who’s market share was about to be eaten by Apple and their fancy shiny webthingy. It would draw the masses towards OSX, show the windows world where to go in terms of look and feel, …
It didn’t. It was simply another, nice to the eye, browser with a rather mediocre performance on Windows compared to the rest of the pack, plus it tried to lure you into installing every other app Apple has for Windows. And although I am a big fan of Apple, their software on Windows has a crappy performance all according to it’s reputation, which is a pitty as it functions very well.
But nobody expected Google to come with a browser. So now every one is on the tips of their toes, waiting full of tension what the impact will be. And you can already see it and measure it. Every other newspaper in Europe and the US mentioned it and I guess in the rest of the world also (but I am pretty bad at reading Hindi or Chinese). Also television news and radio newscasts mentioned this news. Some even followed up on the flooding security issue. The current market share according to some sites reaches over 1%, that means that in one or two days, more than 10 million people used this browser.
And all that was reached by leaking a comic book! Ok, they followed up at launch with a webcast and a statement on their site, but in terms of promo and PR effort that is zero.
With a big impact on everyone else:
Google reshaped the landscape with their browser. Not due to it’s technical superiority, nor through it’s looks, but just due to the fact that it was Google who released it. It sent a clear message to all those out there that “the Google” is not happy with the current state of affairs and if no-one else is going to improve it, they take out the whip and start themselves. A consequence is that there is impact for all players now:
- other browser builders like Firefox and Opera: everyone is now looking their way to improve on whatever one perceives as the better part of Chrome vs that browser. In effect, even if technically no wonder child, Chrome upped the ante for any other browser in the market
- OS makers like Microsoft and Apple: we are fed up waiting for you to come to us so now we come to you. This could be interpreted as a thread, but also as a friendly poke in the side.
- all website builders: having your site run in sandboxed separate process that can be monitored with the browsers built in process manager really puts pressure on them to build lean sites. Now it is no longer the perception that your browser is slow, but more that your site is slow
- the users: Firefox is for geeks and nerds, Apply is for gay designers so up till now IE was the only other valid option for Joe Sixpack. But now there is also “the Google” that also makes “an internets”. I guess that if Google would have named their browser simply ” internet” or “the internet” it would be a matter of days after their real, non-beta, release before every second Windows desktop would feature an icon called “the internet” which for the user would be simply “teh Internets”
Time for some change …