The High-Tech Texan Blog

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Fires A Shot Across The Browsers

When Google launches a new product not only do computer users flock to the (generally) free and easy-to-use features, it keeps other companies on its toes to stay ahead or try to catch up. Google's latest release is a new foray into fierce competitive waters - the Internet browser.

If Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari weren't enough for you (apologies for not caring about Opera and a few other small ones), meet Google Chrome. It was introduced to the world today as a beta project but then again I think Google itself is still in beta.

The big claim from Google is that Chrome will be a faster browser than others. Why is fast important to the Big G? Faster surfing could equate to money, money and more money that Google seems to make so well. According to

Google benefits materially from fast performance. First, when it comes to search, Google discovered when its search page loads fractionally faster, users search more often, which of course leads to more opportunities for Google to place its highly lucrative text ads. Second, a faster Web application foundation means that Google's online applications for e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, and calendars can become faster and fuller-featured.

As far as the product itself I had to wait a bit for the download most likely because half the world's population tried to download it simultaneously. Once installed I did notice a bit peppier website delivery but it still lacks several features I am used to with IE7. RSS would be nice but no doubt should be added in the next release. Give us a way to manage bookmarks and we'll find it more useful. While you're at it G, how about button for emailing links and pages directly from the browser and a progress bar to show how much of a Web page has loaded.

The fun stuff is definitely here, though. Chrome includes Gears, which means you can download desktop icons for several Google apps. Gmail, Reader, and Picasa were downloaded and launched from the desktop. As expected, if already signed in to Google with your account, they launched and started instantly.

One of the reasons Chrome is so speedy is inherent in the same way Google is the fastest and most widely used search engine..the sparsity of its interface (take a glance at Google and then at Yahoo!). There is not much clutter on the home page including the lack of a toolbar. The only toolbar button you can add is a Home button.

As I stated above, Google's new release means other companies are sweating a bit. The timing probably was not a coincidence as Microsoft just released the beta of its new browser, Internet Explorer 8. One thing they both have in common is that they don't work on Macs, at least yet for Chrome. Google is working on that version.

I'm still playing with all these browsers and my opinion will be different than yours. So tell us more about your fave and least liked browser.

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