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Google Chrome - Google's new web browser
Old 09-02-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Google Chrome - Google's new web browser

The beta is officially out. If you're curious, you can get it here: Google Chrome - Download a new browser

It's not like IE or FireFox. It has a Google look and feel... especially around the pre-emptive tasks. For example, in IE 7, to add a bookmark you click the 'add bookmark' button, then select 'add to favorites' then click ok. In Chrome, you click the 'add bookmark' button and it's added. You get a pop window if you want to edit the title or location, but the bookmark is there and you can just continue on with your business.

Chrome does away with a separate search bar, menu navs, etc. You get tabs and an address bar. The default page for Chrome (like when you first start or select a new tab) is a task window that shows your recently visited sites (complete with thumbnail) and your bookmarks.

There's also an incognito surfing mode (similar to the new feature in IE 8 or using Firefox with the Distrust add-in) that will erase all images, browser history, etc at the end of your incognito session.

Also, there's a handy feature for adding a shortcut to a web page. It'll add it to, at your choice, the desktop, start menu and quick launch bar. Selecting the shortcut will launch Chrome with no, well, chrome... just your page in a window. Great for adding shortcuts to things like GMail, your bank, etc. Things you might want a dedicated task open for.

Last, for developers, there's a feature for inspecting the current page. It's very similar to FireBug for FireFox and the new developer tools in IE 8.

It seems to render very fast. Startup is super-quick. On first blush, it seems pretty darn compliant with CSS standards. All in all, a decent beta.

At first, I was a little disappointed that Google didn't just give a bunch of money and developer help to Mozilla. But, after playing with it more, I think I can see their rationale for wanting a separate browser... sometimes it's easier to raze the building and start over (essentially what Mozilla had to do with the initial Netscape 4 code).

I do question how much this will help them, though. FireFox has been making headway... let's hope this helps balance things by taking market share from both Microsoft and Mozilla rather than splintering the Mozilla user base.
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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Be interested to read additional reviews and experiences. I have use almost all the browsers out there but keep coming back to FF.
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:59 PM   #3
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Funny, I just downloaded it using Firefox and when I clicked to install it, Firefox crashed.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Hey, reading the available press on it reflects it is still "Beta" and if it is "Zune" based I can would not be surprised if there are a few "issues" yet (the LOGO at today's Press Conference reflects "Beta" under the name). Should be nice once they get the "bugs" worked out.

The site I was visiting (at CNET I think) did not give an option to save the program just to "install it".
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:26 PM   #5
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Hey, reading the available press on it reflects it is still "Beta" and if it is "Zune" based I can would not be surprised if there are a few "issues" yet (the LOGO at today's Press Conference reflects "Beta" under the name). Should be nice once they get the "bugs" worked out.

The site I was visiting (at CNET I think) did not give an option to save the program just to "install it".
Umm? Zune is a music player from Microsoft, Chrome is a web browser from Google. I think what you're reading about Zune is in regards to Microsoft's ill-fated music player, the Zune. In the case of the Zune, it's a good but not good enough to beat the iPod entry in the market. In the case of Chrome, odds are good that it'll be the same thing for them.

It's one thing if two kids down the street release a new browser that doesn't go anywhere, it's quite another when a monolith company that's seen as one of the best in the biz does the same.

Yes, it is very much still a beta, as I menionted. But, it's a rather polished one so far. I'll post back as I run into better or worse experiences.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:34 PM   #6
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Chrome may be (at least initially) aimed at the same userbase as FireFox. If developers split between the two browsers, it may hurt both projects and IE will benefit the most. Reminds me of the Gnome/KDE split, which has prevented the Linux desktop from effectively competing against Windows.

I really wish Google would have confined itself to search instead of trying to take over the entire Internet. Pretty soon it'll be the Googlenet.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:17 PM   #7
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odds are good that it'll be the same thing for them.
Wont matter. In three or four years when google offers everyone free wireless broadband access, free applications, free online storage, free VOD, internet television and everything else in exchange for inserting targeted ads, you'll be required to use their browser.

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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Wont matter. In three or four years when google offers everyone free wireless broadband access, free applications, free online storage, free VOD, internet television and everything else in exchange for inserting targeted ads, you'll be required to use their browser.

Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated...
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:53 PM   #9
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Just heard of it, just downloaded it. I guess I'm slightly caught up in the hype, especially since Google isn't officially evil yet.

I like the idea of separate processes for each tab and the garbage collection as these things seem to be irritants during my FireFox browsing. The start page looks intriguing, and I've been interested in the potential of Google Gears which is included with the Chrome browser.

I only just installed it and browsed to two or three places. There is a spell-checker in this post box much like my FireFox spell checker. I have been using IE7 on my work laptop and new Vista box and FireFox 2 on my main home XP box and mainly miss the spell checker in general browsing.

At first glance I don't see how to control tab behavior. I'm used to switching focus to a new tab when I middle-click to open; that's not the default in any of my browsers, but I quickly found how to change it in the other two. The address bar seems to double as a search bar which actually bugs me; I usually turn off search-from-address-bar, especially on work machines. (Sending a mistyped intranet URI to a public search engine seems like a minor security issue to me.) I also like to click and hold the scroll wheel to scroll, but so far I don't see how to enable that in Chrome. But we're talking about 3-5 minutes of browse testing here, so the jury is still out.

EDIT: The "close tab" X click targets are too small. That is annoying, although control-F4 works fine as a substitute.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:19 PM   #10
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Funny, I just downloaded it using Firefox and when I clicked to install it, Firefox crashed.
I downloaded it earlier today, and installed it. For me FF didn't crash, but Chrome crashed the first time it was opened.....that really impressed me a lot....NOT.

I messed around with it for a while, and I realize it's only Beta, but I'm not too impressed overall. I'll wait for something a little more refined to come along.

What I liked:

1) It imported my FF bookmarks perfectly.

2) It imported the few 'usernames' & 'passwords' that I have saved in FF.

What I didn't like:

1) It doesn't have an ad-blocker.....did y'all know that the E-R Forum has ads? In FF with 'Ad Block Plus', I never see ads...anywhere!

2) I went to a website that I use daily, that has a Java app in it.....it offers up "No Plug-in Available"......and I don't feel like messing with trying to get Java working in another browser. My success with installing Java has been hit & miss.....probably just me....but that's reason enough for me.

3) And like BigMoney Jim stated, "The "close tab" X click targets are too small. That is annoying..."

So, until and/or unless I find a REAL reason to try Chrome again.....I'll stick with my old 'tried & true' FF3.....it works well....it works the way I like it to.....which is the REAL reason I use it.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:20 PM   #11
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Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated...
All in All I'd rather be assimilated by Google than Microsoft. What can I say I'm idealistic/naive enough to think they actually believe the corporate motto of "do no evil"
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:54 PM   #12
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Going to take a lot for me to get rid of Firefox. Keep up with the reviews gang
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:57 PM   #13
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I've decided that I have a better idea of why Google is going this route... I think they have a vision for cloud computing for apps with the browser as, for lack of a better term, the os.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:09 PM   #14
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Additional comments:

Even though I've strayed away from FF lately, I use it when doing financial transactions or browsing new or untrusted sites. IE7 I've used for convenience and compliance; Chrome is a new toy with some neat ideas.

I'm managing to hit the "close tab" X better now, but I don't see any reason for them not to make the click target area bigger.

One thing I like about FF over IE7 is that I can drag a link into an existing tab. If I try that with Chrome it just squeezes a new tab in where I dropped it. A neat thing I might use is that you can drag tabs into their own window and vice-versa. Sometimes I like tabs and sometimes I like alt-tabbing between windows, and now I can switch back and forth at a whim.

On two or three threads here the "new" link is taking me to just below the last post on the page; I'm not sure if that's Chrome, the board or the combination of the two doing that.

However, that made the Social Knowledge graphic show up near my taskbar icon for Chrome; that made me realize the Google Chrome logo is the result of flushing the Social Knowledge logo down the toilet:

(Links in case guests can't see the images: Social Knowlege Logo, Google Chrome Logo)
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:10 PM   #15
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I'm using it now--it's a little faster than Firefox for me, and Firefox is way faster than IE for me. But I like Firefox a lot, so don't know why I would use Chrome instead at this point.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:37 PM   #16
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I've decided that I have a better idea of why Google is going this route... I think they have a vision for cloud computing for apps with the browser as, for lack of a better term, the os.
MS and Oracle have been talking about this for years. I don't think it's going to work, personally. Too much opportunity for information theft, and not enough local control. But it does seem to be what the various Big Brothers are heading toward.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:00 PM   #17
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MS and Oracle have been talking about this for years.
Yes, they've been talking about it, but they don't have Google Gears and Google's cloud layer.

Oh, here's an Information Week article that sort of sums up the same thing I've been thinking: Google Chrome: Browser Or Cloud Operating System? - Analytics - InformationWeek
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:09 PM   #18
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Hmmmm....

So whats google up to?
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:48 PM   #19
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Interesting. Now that I think about it, when that thread was started the shift to web-based applications was underway, but I was griping about it because it was being done badly (in some cases, at least). Now that I think about it, web apps have come a long, long way since then. The HTML form was a poor interface for many applications, but AJAX and other web app layers have made for much better UIs; usually not as good as as a client-installed application, but the gap is narrowing and will continue to narrow.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:47 AM   #20
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Just what the world needs... another browser.

They track people's activity via searches, click ads and sophisticated analysis software.

Perhaps they figured that just having people use their browser is an easier way to track activity.
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