Google Chrome – Is it Worth it?



Well, Google went and did it: They put out a browser. The new Chrome Browser is in Beta and it looks great for now. Do we really need another browser in the war?

For those who don’t know: There are 4 main browsers – IE, Firefox, Safari and Opera. You then have a bunch of others that are just as important, but are not as popular as these four.

Google Chrome is the “Open Source” Browser with a faster load time. It uses a “sandbox” practice so malware has a harder time getting through. It is based on the Webkit, which is the open-source browser engine that Safari uses. It also has security and anti-phishing features installed and is totally customizable.

Just like Firefox, you can get plugins to enhance your browser. The system embraces multi-process architecture which should not take down the whole browser if one page hangs. I reported it on my Flickr as the “AW SNAP” page.

Another big advance is the searching capability (gee! Who would have thunk that came from Google). The “Omnibox” is integrated at the top of the browser. Omnibox has the learn feature and let you use other websites searches – for instance the search at the top of geeknewscentral.com. Omnibox would treat it like you were using that search and count toward it.

The most interesting feature is the “Incognito” concept which doesn’t log any information. It doesn’t mask your IP or anything like that – it just doesn’t log anything on the computer. That way you can get the kids presents without them snooping in the cache to find out when you were last at toysrus.com.

Walt Mossberg has been playing with it for a week now. He says that Chrome is a “smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the web faster…”. He feels the roughness is because of the beta and will go away with time.

There are some concerns over it. As an IT Pro, I wouldn’t deploy this browser simply because of the fact that Google can update it at will. I really don’t want someone else playing with these programs for I could find a web program not working correctly because of it.

That is why, according to Sillicon Alley Insider, out of the 75% that use Internet Explorer, 25% are STILL on IE 6. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a majority of those in corporate. IE 6 is the default browser installed with XP.

Another concern is Google’s history of privacy. With DoubleClick in Google’s stable, they might be able to pull on all your history. Maybe even the stuff you deem “Incognito”.

It was no surprise to see Google make this browser. The rumor has been going on for years. It was just only a short time ago that Google decided to act upon it. After all, they will need a browser to bundle with Android, right?

I have installed and tested Chrome. I find it to not be much different than Firefox except for it being a touch faster. I tried to kill a process, and the whole browser did fail at one point. I opened four tabs in Firefox with different content and duplicated the sites on Chrome. I noticed that Firefox did take up more memory (166 MB vs. 120 MB of 4 separate processes).

Of course this is a striped down model with no plug ins and still in beta. So in all reality, take the claims with a grain of salt. Let’s see what happens when people get their hands on it. The tune might just change then.


3 thoughts on “Google Chrome – Is it Worth it?

  1. Its very Spartan, but quite fast. It’s also been identified to have at least 2 major security issues. One of them is the carpet bombing exploit Safari was vulnerable to, but since fixed with an update. Not a very good start, though called a beta, everything with Google is a beta so that’s just an excuse. I’ve already uninstalled it.

  2. Until they come up with an ad blocker plugin, I’m not interested. I did download it and play with it a bit last night, but the ads…I’m just not used to seeing them and they made my browsing experience uncomfortable.

    I have no problems with Firefox, so I’ll just keep using that. At least I can block all the ads

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