Google Chrome – a new punch in the browser fight

For the last few days, the biggest thing in the technical news is Google Chrome browser (check the comics book, introducing the browser, download beta).  Sure, we had our share of browser wars, and we still do, but this is something completely different.  Most of today’s browsers started back in the days when the Web was totally different.  Since then, some browsers changed more than others.  Some new ones appeared.  But there was no a big break through.  It was mostly an evolutionary approach.

I’m glad to see these big news from Google, that they decided to create a new browser from scratch.  They built it with solutions to many of the today’s problems.  They’ve put some flexbility for the future.  And it seems like they’ve thought a lot about it.

I absolutely support their choice of open source in this matter.  Nobody, not even Google can build a browser that will satisfy everyone and everything, and then keep developing and maintaining it.  That’s not possible with the current state of the Web affairs.  The only way to pull it off is to open source it, so that the Web itself could help them with this mega task.  Also, it’s nice to see that they don’t want to reinvent the wheel either – taking both WebKit (open source web rendering engine) and V8 (open source JavaScript implementation) is smart decision.

It’s nice to see some real competition in the browser world.  Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has changed a lot in the last few years, and the biggest reason for those changes was Mozilla’s Firefox.  Firefox changed a lot too, but it sure could use a push from another open source product.  Google’s Chrome could be exactly that product.

Also, for once it would be nice to see a browser built by someone who knows the Web, and not how to build software.  Yes, browser is a software, but it’s not on its own.  You need to know more and have access to a lot more data to build a good browser.  In particular, what, who, and how uses the Web.  Neither Microsoft, nor Mozilla, nor Opera Software have these information.  Or at least not on the scale that Google has.

And, of course, there always will be downsides to any good initiative.  In the case with Google Chrome, my biggest concern is the situation with themes and extensions.  Firefox has an excellent community in this regard.  This community has built all possible and impossible thems and extensions for practically anyone anywhere.  And it still continues to do so.  Google Chrome starts from scratch, so there won’t be anything for some time.  And since the whole browser thing is new, it’ll need to start with a new set of developers, testers, users, and so on.  And so it will take them some time build that all up.

As with anything, there are a billion of other ways to look at Google Chrome, the way the Web is going, the way Google is going, the way software development in general and IT as a whole is going.  But I’ll leave that up to you.  Here are, however, a few links to get you started.

12 thoughts on “Google Chrome – a new punch in the browser fight”

  1. i’m willing to try it out just to see if it works more efficiently than FireFox… if it’s faster than Firefox, has tabs and isn’t IE, then it should be perfect

  2. It would be nice to hear some impressions. I can’t try it yet, because I don’t have any Windows machine nearby. But once Linux version is out, I’ll be all over it.

    However, as I mentioned, it will quite some time until I’ll be able to use it as a main browser, mostly due to all the extensions that I am so used to now.

  3. Dessapointment. Bazed on Mozilla and Safari. Very very poor. Hope they will do something about it since its only beta. No customisation at all. Opera still foreva!

  4. This is Official Build 1583: Mozilla/5.0, AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13. I dont know about rendering.

  5. To be honest I find it rather disappointing that Google did not take a Linux direction for this browser in the startup. The Linux community is real , Google usually points towards us and let m not forget that recently in a video presentation on Android Sergey Brin did mention that he himself developed Google using free tools such as the tools under GNU. I just want a new browser for Linux and I’m just moaning thats all.

    A similar disappointing one by Google was when Google Desktop did not have the little sidebar with widgets like the Windows version did.

    Never the less I hope that we get chrome too.

  6. Mario,

    I read it that Google released Chrome for Windows only because the first prototypes were done for Windows. That is the engineers who started playing around with the idea were the ones working on the Windows platform. That’s why.

    I also read that they are working on both Linux and Mac versions and that those are due out shortly. And I also read that you can run Google Chrome on Linux via wine emulation. But I haven’t tried that myself yet.

  7. I liked the simple typical google ui, and also the really cool all in one address bar. Also it definitely was really fast.

    Anyway Im too used to Firefox with all its extensions, so am back to Firefox now! :)

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