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September 2, 2008

Review of Google Chrome

Filed under: Software — cangione @ 4:46 pm

Google has had an interesting week and it's only Tuesday. They have extended their default search engine relationship with Firefox until 2011 and released their own open source browser called Google Chrome to compete with IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

In fact as a test of the new browser, I'm writing this post in Chrome. Chrome has some cool features starting with a very minimalistic UI. I'm already in love with the browsers minimalism. The WebKit rendering engine is smokin fast. So far it has done a good job of correctly rendering all the typical pages I visit. The address bar also acts as the search dialog which is a really simple but smart idea. It saves real estate up at the top of the browser. Same idea for their application toolbar. It only appears when you start a new blank tab, then goes away. Smart.

What I don't like.

So why won't I make this my primary browser for day to day activities? Three major reasons:

  • No Way to synchronize bookmarks across multiple browsers.

    I'm a bit surprised that Google did not tie the browser closer to a users Google account. Your Google user account would be the perfect place to store a master list of bookmarks that would automatically be established each time you setup Chrome on another machine.

    Since I use three different physical machines and a bunch of VM's in a single day to do my job, bookmark management and their continued synchronization is a big deal for me. Firefox has the Foxmarks plugin to handle this issue.

  • No Bailout Option.

    Sometimes you've just got to get the job done and that job requires IE. You don't have to like it, but you have to use it. In Firefox if a website does not behave itself properly I can use the IE Tab plugin so that page and all subsequent child pages are rendered using IE instead of Gecko.

  • The Beta Only Support Windows XP and Vista.

    Enough said.

  • The Future?

    I like competition and Chrome has the potential to push the browser industry forward at a more rapid pace than any of the established players would be comfortable with. So for now, Chrome has found a place on my RocketDock toolbar as a browser to keep an eye on.

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