Chrome

Google Chrome

As Homer Simpson might say, “Mmmm chrome” . Anything called “Chrome” just has to be good. Internet king Google has released a new open source browser as of yesterday and I’m excited just to have something new to download. Kudos to Google on the choice of name, Chrome, “What do you mean you don’t have Chrome?”, “My computer has Chrome”, “You have got to get Chrome”.

So what is Chrome? “Chrome is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web” – Google

Skeptical at first, I was curious as I have heard not a pin drop behind this project nor its community. Why so secretive? A little searching and I found the developer community, Chromium, the open source project behind Chrome. Their community can be found here.

On to the browser –

Now, I’m a die-hard Firefoxer, so Google will have to do a lot to win me over, but I’m pretty loyal to Google products. Specifically their online products; Google Mail and Calendar. I downloaded it about a half hour ago and already I have a Top 3 list together of what I like about it – essentially to share with you, the reader.

These are my first initial thoughts and things I thought were neat and interesting. This release is an early beta and are subject to change. No.. I wont mention the speed as one of them because speed is relative to many factors besides your browser, it’s still to early to tell.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

1. Plugins work out of the box:

Currently, Google Chrome supports the most popular plug-ins necessary to display the Web correctly, including Flash, Acrobat Reader, Java, Windows Media Player, Real Player, QuickTime, and Silverlight.” – Google

What? No need to download the latest Adobe/Macromedia plugin, Apple Quicktime? Java? Realplayer? (Who does anyways?)Interesting. Very interesting. Not sure what behind the scenes deal went on here with Google but none-the-less it is cool. No more failed Flash installation problems or troubles invovled with any of the above mentioned plugins. Understandably, some my think this is obtrusive as the plugin may not be desired on ones machine. Mixed opinions on the matter for me. This is great for for those who have no experience with fiddling with installing codecs and other plugins. Perhaps a choice on installation would be better for those who find this sly.

Bonus points: The built-in task manager clearly shows that the flash plugin is a bloated pig. Oops, did I say that.

2. It takes up less screen space: By eliminating the File, Edit, View, etc., from the menu bar from the top of the browser, and the status bar from the bottom, you gain about 150 pixels of valuable viewing space which is great. Browser options are tucked neatly next to the address bar in a wrench icon that you can easily access in the rare occasion when you need to change some settings. Perhaps there exists a keyboard shortcut even. Nice touch. I see some inspiration from Windows Vista’s UI in that the menu bar is hidden by default in Windows Explorer as well as Internet Explorer 7. I guess this is the current movement. Hey, the more real estate the better the experience for browsing the web. Every pixel counts.

3. It will not crash your browser: Oh I can’t wait for the discussions on this. Dave H, In-class perhaps? Chrome will treat each tab as a separate process, so JavaScript runs in the background while you browse. So if you hit a bug, only that tab dies, not your entire browser. You can also open up a mini task manager be able to see which sites are consuming your CPU, just like Windows Task Manager. As of now, I can’t think of any reason not to have modern web browsers do this? Let me know if you think of any.

Have you downloaded Google Chrome? Let me know what you think of it, and post your initial reactions and experience.

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