Google has just introduced a new web browser to compete with Internet Explorer and Firefox.  Here is a review…
Google Chrome logo


Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

Google Chrome logo

Google’s Chrome browser: This baby flies

Paul Sakuma / Associated Press
The new rival to Explorer and Firefox, now available for testing in Windows, makes up in exceptional speed for any minor shortcomings. And it’s got a nice array of features.
By David Colker and Michelle Maltais, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 3, 2008

Google’s much-anticipated Web browser, Chrome, arrived Tuesday like a shiny new sports car: It’s streamlined, has some great new features and is very, very fast.

Chrome, the most talked-about new tech product since the iPhone, became available shortly before noon as a free download — for Windows only — in what is officially called a beta test version.

 A short test drive shows that it could be a worthy contender for alpha browser.

Not that it won’t take some getting used to. Unlike the familiar Internet Explorer and Firefox, which put functions such as Print and Save at the top, Chrome goes for a minimalist look, with controls hidden under the hood.

Its overall color scheme — after-Labor Day white with sky-blue trim — is a bit harsh on the eyes.

Not everything worked right out of the showroom. Oddly, several of Google’s own applications, such as Gmail, didn’t function when we took the beta version out for a spin.

And although the company said it was working on Mac and Linux versions, no release dates were given.

But Chrome’s shortcomings and unfulfilled promises can be forgiven for one basic reason: This baby flies.

Even on a pedestrian Dell laptop, most pages popped up on the screen almost before the finger left the mouse.

If Explorer and Firefox are the Toyotas of browsers, Chrome is the sporty Mini Cooper.

Downloading the Chrome beta — at /chrome — is painless and comes with a nice surprise for Firefox users. Their bookmarks, passwords and browsing history are automatically incorporated and ready for use.

Among the Chrome features:

* The standard home page is all about you. It includes links to the sites you visit the most and recent bookmarks.

* At start-up, you can pick up where you left off — not just on the last page you visited but also on all the screens you had up when you shut down. Even better, you can tell Chrome which pages you want it to open every time you launch the program. This is especially handy for folks who regularly monitor numerous pages.

* The URL address bar at the top of the page doubles as the Google search field. For example, you could type www in the space to go directly to the site or type "Los Angeles Times" for a search.

It’s a nice, streamlining touch, like the radio controls on the steering wheel.

* Functions such as Print and Save are hidden under a small pull-down window, thus giving the browser a cleaner look and more room for content.

If you don’t like using the pull-down window, those functions can be reached with a right-click on the mouse.

* Like tinted windows, Chrome allows for privacy while cruising the Web. In incognito mode, sites are kept off the browsing history list.

* If you don’t want to go to the same designated home page every time you start up, you can create several as shortcuts that live on your desktop. Click on one, and the browser opens up and takes you there.

All in all, a nice array of features.

But what’s likely to make Explorer and Firefox especially nervous is Chrome’s exceptional speed, which could leave the older browsers in rush-hour gridlock as it zooms on by.

Even problems can be amusing to discover.

An error page that cropped up in browsing resulted in this message:

"Aw, Snap! Something went wrong while displaying this webpage. To continue, press Reload."

Who could resist?

I haven’t taken a test drive yet but I plan to.
Here is a breakdown of U.S. market shares of Internet browsers:
Internet Explorer – 72.15%
Firefox – 19.73%
Safari – 6.37%
Opera – 0.74%
Others – 0.27%
(Numbers don’t add to 100% due to rounding)
Tim Mcgraw tonight.. Inspiring song!
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12 Responses to Chrome

  1. Beth says:

    This sounds pretty good.  I will have to check it out.

  2. EbonyWyvernDragon says:

    I fail to see why IE still has so much marketshare as Firefox is so much faster! On the Chrome side – I downloaded it yesterday to my Vista Home premium machine. It is a very clean and easy to use product. The non-geeky people will have no trouble working with it. It has the speed AND seems to have the browsing protection of Firefox. (I currently have 3.0 on my machine as well). Very little to do for setup – it imports all your bookmarks for you very nicely! For the geeks – there is a cool special button…. when you bring up "Task Manager" by clicking in the colored bar to the right of your tabs, the drop-down shows "Task Manager". Select this nifty little feature and you will get a box that shows all your open tabs and what is going on. If you look to the left on the bottom, there is this neat little thing called "Stats for nerds". All you nerds out there – HAVE A PARTY…. I know I did! I am not sure yet whether I will change my primary browser from Firefox to Chrome – but, whatever I decide, you can bet your bottom dollar it will NOT BE IE! Dragon

  3. Lena says:

    Bobert, the title of this blog is misleading.  I thought you were bloggin’ about ya noggin!

  4. Fizz says:

    I downloaded it and gave it a whirl. It’s most definitely faster. for sure. But it’s awkward and clunky with the book mark or favorites. Speed is good, usability is low. I’ll stick with Firefox.– Fizz —

  5. Carol says:

    Wonder how it will work on my slow machine.. I really don’t think I will be trying it for awhile.. let others test drive it for awhile..  : )

  6. Sue says:

    Sounds like a step up.  Might give it a try after a little time passes to give it a chance to get the bugs out, if they exist.  So, Bob, are you going to jump in and give it a try???

  7. nodope says:

    Just saw that this morning when I opened my browser. My home page is set to google and there it was in all its un-glory. Will probably give it a try but not until the bugs are worked out and everybody’s raving about it.
    Good post!

  8. klaus says:

    Hi Bob. Thank you for your comment.This google idea seems like it will go well. I usually use firefox, but on live spaces, for some reason it does not play the music on sites such as yours, so i close my eyes and click on "internet explorer" for live…  :)I hope your week is going well my friend.k~

  9. EbonyWyvernDragon says:

    One of our techies just passed around this little piece. Kinda looks like IE may not have as big a marketshare after all…….
    Um — for those that are worried it won’t run on their ‘old’ machines….. one of our guys has it on his 256 Windows XP machine and is RAVING about the speed. If you aren’t trying to do anything complicated with it (like my man – he has a stock market trading engine that runs in real time), then it appears to work wonderfully well!

  10. Rosebay says:

    I was reading about this just today. I think I will wait a little while athough I am very tempted. Hope all is well with you. Hope to run into you on IM again sometime although I don’t get on very often. Take care

  11. Tracie says:

    You are quite the teckie huh!  You lost me at "Google has just introduced a new web browser"  BUT speaking of "CHROME"  that is a good song by Trace Adkins.  Google that!  LOL

  12. Rhonda says:

    Hi Bob,I was sitting here reading your blog, about your turtle…lol, to my grandson Justin, hes 13.  We were laughing so hard….lol  One minute Bob you have me crying, and the next, you have me laughing. You’re a man of many words, thats why i just love coming here. Talk to you very soon.

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