Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome - first thoughts

Because the world won't spin upon its axis unless a new browser is introduced, Google has insisted on releasing a spanking new example, known as Google Chrome. It'll apparently be available for free download sometime today. (Update: Download here; announcement here; comic here)

Color me not terribly impressed. Maybe if any one of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera actually did the job, we wouldn't have to download and maintain multiple pieces of the same application type on every machine we own. The browser-of-the-month thing is getting tiresome.

I know you're bent on world domination, Google. I know you soften the whole thing with your "Do No Evil" mantra. I'm not fundamentally opposed to any of this. You have, after all, revolutionized how we find stuff online, how we communicate and, increasingly, how we find cool new things to do on the Interweb.

But at some point, your hegemony of how we interact with our technology will surpass that of the company you used to love to beat up for doing pretty much the same monopolistic thing: Microsoft. I tend to become less enthusiastic when one organization controls the cloud, my browser, my collaboration tools, my... (you get the picture: you already own everything we do online. I wonder if there's an actual limit.)

Your turn: What's your take on Google's new browser? Is a new Borg in the making?

(And, no, contrary to my recent rantish tendencies, I won't state definitively that Google Chrome sucks. As much SEO fun as that would be, I'll reserve actual judgment on the actual product until I've had a chance to work with it. Stay tuned.)

This just in: BetaNews reporter Jacqueline Emigh interviewed me for the article, Analysts: How is Chrome tied to Android, that published Tuesday evening.


Brian Frank said...

As of writing this comment, 3 of the top 6 technology stories (according to Google News...) are about Google -- all unrelated.

Google is certainly taking us into a new nexus of technology and life, turning questions that were once the domain of SciFi into matters of real, present concern.

We may or may not be going Borgwards, but more people should spend more time seriously talking about this stuff as it pertains to ethics, culture, society, etc.

Mojo said...

Meh. I'll stick with Firefox for the time being at least. It's not as sleek as it once was, but that's more a function of user demand than poor design. As we ask (demand) more from a browser, it necessarily becomes a little fatter, a little more resource intensive and a little less... sleek.

But that's not to say I wouldn't switch if I found something that better suited my needs.

Does anybody remember Lynx?

kenju said...

I read about this on another blog, and he put up a link to the google site's cartoon/explanation of how Chrome works and why they did it. I went through all of it, and while as a non-geek, I couldn't understand much of it at all, I was impressed with what they said.

I will not download it, however, until I have read a lot from others and it has a chance to have the inevitable kinks taken out.

Holly Schwendiman said...

Hmmm love Google...maybe a new browser will give me more time to join in fun things here at Written Inc.?


BreadBox said...

I actually took the time to read their graphic novel on why they're developing it: I think that some of the features look like ones that I'd like to see, and there are certainly times when redeveloping from the ground up enables you to make certain improvements to the product.
I also like the fact that they're releasing it as open source: it seems to me that a case could be made that google's business would be improved if everyone used a better browser. I'm reasonably happy much of the time with firefox, though some of the hoops I have to go through to get 64 bit software working right is a pain. If google implements that in a painless fashion I could see switching. On the other hand, their product could be awful, and I wouldn't give it another look.

Of course, as a linux user, I'm going to have to wait for an unspecified time until I get to bash it about a bit, so this is all academic to me!


Sleepypete said...

Really can't see the point in Yet Another Browser ...

I've quite happily switched across to using Firefox instead of IE but that's for different reasons to the things like tabbed browsing etc. (I switched to get rid of adverts ...)

Plus, I've also been turned off by the intrusiveness of the Google toolbar, when it manages to squeeze its way onto one of my machines.

Bond, James said...

I just tried and cgrome sucks completely. So fucking slow and stupid browser. Did not think company like google can make such a shit. uninstalled it after 5 mins. Page loading takes hours. What a shit???

Anonymous said...

it doesn't work at all for me :(

Anonymous said...

Google Chrome is working great right now. Although I won't be switching completely yet from fire fox. It seems like a well put together piece of software!

Anonymous said...

the concepts google and their developers have strived to achieve may or may not be present as i've not had time to test them all to date. that said...i'm not particularly impressed with the browser and it's trimmed down interface almost feels alien.

Andy said...

Funny you mentioned the SEO thing about Google Sucks, for a couple of reasons. Before I get into that, I want to mention that I agree that it really does suck. One, even though you weren't trying, I found you on the first page. Two, finally, I did write a brief post called "Google Chrome Sucks" with the specific and useless goal of getting my post to be on page one of the search results. It's my first attempt at SEO. We'll see what happens :) And it wouldn't be good SEO if I didn't mention you can find the post here: http://thehalfstep.blogspot.com/2008/09/google-chrome-sucks.html

Red Lotus Mama said...

Beautiful photo! Happy WW: http://tinyurl.com/6qyans

Uisce said...

a new borg in the making -- definitely! in case it's not bad enough that they've got their analytics buried in every web site on the planet, now they can keep track of us everywhere else! nope, not me!

Anonymous said...

great browser like it a lot