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Chrome: Strong Out Of The Gate

Yesterday I wrote about the Chrome technical comic. Later in the day, the Chrome download link started working again, and I grabbed a copy. I’ve been using Google’s new browser for a day and a half now.

My review: I like it.

Chrome Pros

  • The “one-box” address bar is excellent. One single box for URLs, for searching, and for history. I found myself typing fewer URLs today. Very handy. (Browser autocompletion crushes the search funnel and, imho, works in favor of online retailers — more on that in a subsequent post.)
  • Chrome seems to runs Javascript apps faster. For example, CustomInk has a neat tshirt layout designer . Their drag-and-drop app is smoother under Chrome.
  • The UI is pretty and intuitive. Pulling tabs off the browser onto the desktop, and dropping them back — very slick.
  • Chrome starts up quicker than IE.
  • Chrome feels like it renders pages quicker than FFox and IE.

Chrome Neutrals or Minor cons

  • Some websites had minor rendering bugs. For example, the text in the buttons on CustomInk’s app mentioned above were sliced off vertically. The splash image on my wife’s lab site didn’t appear at all.

    chrome-cut-buttons chrome-missing-image
  • A small number of websites — PetSmart.com and ComputerWorld for example– rendered glacially slowly in Chrome, repeatably taking over several minutes. I wager it was some sort of redirect or ad serving issue. No speed problems for the same pages on FFox or IE.
  • Password manager shows cached passwords in plain text. This is a security hole — if you leave your browser open and unattended, anyone could grab your bank or email passwords, if you let Chrome save them.

    chrome-password-display

  • Multiple sites are reporting Chrome is a memory hog; I personally did not notice memory usage patterns between IE, Chrome, and FFox. The memory use order depended on the specific pages and tabs.

    chrome-memory-use-display

  • The rendering engine has minor spacing differences (image below).

    chrome-align

Chrome Significant Cons

  • Plugins. Currently, Chrome lacks plugins. Plugins are what make Ffox so great. For me, for example, Firebug is a must-have.
  • The default font is too small. Smaller than Ffox or IE. Made me squint. The small font could make Chrome harder to use for older folks, but Google could easily bump this up. Yes, I know about “control +”; I’m speaking generally.

    chrome-fontsize

Predictions

I predict Chrome will steadily eat share from Ffox.

I predict Google will soon cut deals with computer manufacturers to make Chrome and Google Docs a productivity suite option (“Save $200 — Google Docs vs. MS Office”). These deals will materially eat into IE browser share.

The browser wars are back!

Chrome download link

 

Update: Google is now advertising Chrome on the Google homepage.

chrome-google-homepage

That is extremely dear real estate — Google counts characters on that page — so “cluttering” the homepage with Chrome Beta on the day after launch indicates just how seriously Google intends to push this browser.

Microsoft, watch your back.

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  • Alan Rimm-Kaufman
    Alan Rimm-Kaufman founded the Rimm-Kaufman Group...
  • Comments
    3 Responses to “Chrome: Strong Out Of The Gate”
    1. Alan,

      I love Chrome too and I just started using it … regarding the Firebug deal … right click and check out the context menu for “inspect element” … :) Chrome’s got a great little DOM inspector just like Firebug built in!

      Moreover, it’s JavaScript engine is really quick with every tab running in it’s own process …

      Check out the post about Chrome on my blog

      What I really like about Chrome, is that it’s built on Java » Google Gears … platform independence …

      Edward

    2. Google Chrome is very fast, but with Firefox there are a lot of extensions so… i keep my Firefox.

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    1. RaiyaRaj says:

      First experience with Google Chrome…

      I came to know about Google Chrome. Then I checked its comic book. Comic book has convinced to download & try it.
      It took few seconds to download & install it. It don’t ask much question to install it. Even it has not asked to set it as d…