Google Chrome: Initial Reports Round-up

Filed as Features on September 3, 2008 4:35 am

Google’s web browser is now available for download, at least if you’re running a Windows system with XP or Vista. It is a lightweight, fast, and pretty stable browser, although perhaps not as smashingly great as Google had hoped.

Give it a go and tell us what you think, or read up.

There are a billion reviews and initial thoughts on Google Chrome out there, the Techmeme discussion is a good place as any to follow up on the reports across the blogosphere. A few posts, articles, reviews, and overall coverage, caught my eye, though:

  • Google on when we’ll see Chrome for Mac and Linux. Not soon, we’re talking months, it seems.
  • Head to Head: Chrome vs IE8 is an interesting comparison with the Internet Explorer 8 beta, which shares a lot of common features (such as each tab being an individual process) with Chrome.
  • OStatic’s hands-on report: “It’s a fast, clean, stable beta browser that shows promise but will need community support.”
  • The Venturebeat review points to problems with Flash, which comes pre-loaded with Chrome, and how issues with it carries across tabs. I don’t find that particular issue surprising at all, but if they could solve it that’d be great.
  • Geeks are Sexy has got a nice review of the Chrome browser, including the install process and everything.
  • ReadWriteWeb points to a serious security flaw in Chrome, something that came with an old version of Webkit, which Chrome is built upon. Since this is fixed by Apple already, Google not implementing it is certainly weak at best.
  • Walt Mossberg reviews Chrome and also compares it to other browsers in a beefy review over at AllThingsD. He is obviously impressed, and talks about the new browser war: “With the emergence of Chrome, consumers have a new and innovative browser choice, and with IE8, the new browser war is sure to be a worthy contest.”
  • This javascript benchmark (labeled 2008 September 2) shows that Safari is still king of the hill, and Chrome being slower than Opera and Firefox 3 as well, despite the whole V8 super-duper-javascript talk. The commentary to the test includes: “Then again, a lot of Google Chrome’s claim to fame isn’t really geared to a benchmark test like this — it’s more intended for security and live applications that require extensive garbage collection and utilizing non-linear loading of page elements.”
  • Lively doesn’t work in Chrome. Ouch.
  • Jack Schofield asks if there really is anything original in Chrome. A valid question, given the fact that a lot of the news are available in IE8, and the speed dial is taken from Opera.
  • Om Malik’s coverage has been listed in the previous post, but this is new: Google Browser Puts the Cloud To Work and Google Open Sources Skia Graphics Engine. Bonus: Liz Gannes asks why Google abandoned Firefox.
  • Finally, Chromium is the name of the open-source browser project, available now. This is what Google Chrome is built on.

I took Google Chrome for a spin yesterday, and it is indeed fast and responsive. However, personally the fact that the browser isn’t available for Mac or Linux is the killer, although I could run it virtualized of course (I do that with Internet Explorer to test code).

What are your Google Chrome experiences so far?

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  1. By Craig Farrall posted on September 3, 2008 at 4:57 am
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    Well, I have given it a test drive all this morning, and I have to say I am quite impressed by it, I am loving the interface, and the tabbed section. But most of all, you have to love the way it renders the websites, and after looking at most my websites in it, it looks perfect.

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  2. By media kingdom posted on September 3, 2008 at 9:55 am
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    i’m willing to try it out just to see if it works more efficiently than FireFox… if it’s faster than Firefox and isn’t IE, then i’ll use it

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  3. By Chetan posted on September 3, 2008 at 11:20 am
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    I reported every part of the press conference and also posted a couple issues, and the response that i got was also good.

    Mozilla is also fighting back really well with the benchmarks features making site loads faster, about which Techcrunch just posted – http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/03/mozilla-fights-back-with-new-firefox-benchmarks/

    It’s not going to be easy for Google to climb to the top of browsers!

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  4. By Meredith posted on September 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm
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    Not really liking it thus far. Some pages that continually worked just fine (display-wise) in Firefox AND IE7 are breaking in Chrome; dunno what the CSS support is going to be like in future releases, but I hope it improves. It may be the websites themselves, though. I guess I’ll have to try it out a little further (hard tho when the only PC I run is on Microsoft corpnet).

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  5. By Kiltak posted on September 3, 2008 at 6:37 pm
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    Been using it for the past 2 days… and didn’t run into any issues as of yet.. the only problem I’ve encountered is a page that was trying to load a Java Applet.. that’s it.

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  6. By will posted on September 3, 2008 at 9:16 pm
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    I like it, though I am finding it strangely bad with google docs spreadsheets. Like so bad I had to boot up FFox just to finish a basic sheet I was working on. The pointer seems to select the wrong cells, there is no right click for insert rows etc and the updating of say inserting a row just crashed it…

    I know it is a true beta but i thought man that is weird. Is it just me???

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  7. By GR posted on September 7, 2008 at 4:06 pm
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    It’s interesting browser but still has some bugs. I’m sure the next version will be more stable

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  8. By Matt-ienedhits posted on September 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm
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    I really love it. Tab location at the top is fantastic and its loading up my large reports about 5 seconds faster than firefox and IE!

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  9. By Matt posted on September 17, 2008 at 7:53 am
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    I’m a fan. It loads everything super fast and I love the malware alerts!

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