Thursday, September 04, 2008

Google Chrome hits the streets or uh Web

Google has entered a new battle - the browser wars. While Microsoft currently dominates the market with Firefax and Safari hanging second and third, Google has subtly created a "new view" of the web. On the surface it may look similar to other browsers but under the hood it's running on a new engine.

Having some programming skills I can appreciate this new approach. Ever since I opened Mozilla way back when, sometime in the early 90s, each new browser or version of a browser has built upon previous versions. This has led to some "in the box" thinking and one way thinking of how a browser should work. It has also led to some hefty browsers.

Users over the years though have changed their browsing habits. In the early days having one browser open was normal, but now having several browser windows open and ultimately the "tabs" feature is common. Email, blogs and blog editing, social websites like facebook, are all open at one time. This is great. The problem with browsers like Internet Explorer is they all occupy the same memory space, or home and when one goes bad everything goes bad - crashes.
Google has taken a new approach in that each tab uses a new memory space or different home. When one tab or site causes a problem it doesn't effect the other tabs - or neighbors. This is really nice so your email or blog post doesn't crash because another site sitting in another tab goes haywire.

Another nice feature is the one address bar. It acts like a URL bar as well as your search box. It also fills in sites below the box for faster typing. For example if I type in weather, shows up below the box so I can click directly on the url rather than go through the Google search process.

I am giving all this praise after one day of use. So I'll put it through the rounds and do a follow up in a week or so. In the meantime drop by Google and download Chrome and give it a spin. Another nice feature is it's very light in that it's a small download and installs quickly.



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