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Why I Love Google [Chrome]

Posted on September 2nd, 2008

There’s something about Google that makes it a ridiculous company. Firstly, they have scooters in their offices. Secondly, they have gourmet food offered at their largest offices (including, but not limited to, Mountain View and New York). Thirdly, they seem to make t-shirts for everything that they do (including, but not limited to, talent shows, blogging, and internships).

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that they can’t seem to make a bad product. (I will note here that people on the Internet have become spoiled by Google’s rampant success that expectations have become fairly monstrous; even Google Finance, which is a great offering, failed to impress the vast majority of users.) It started with their search, and its track record speaks for itself.  Then it was Gmail, with its legendary gigabyte of storage when competitors offered a measly 20 megs. Then it was maps, which really brought AJAX to the forefront and revolutionized the way people used the Internet. After adding Calendar, Blogger, Video, Suggest, and a host of other applications, one starts to realize that Google is getting really good at the interwebs business.

The issue for Google, however, was that they were becoming increasingly reliant on web browsers to do the right thing. If, for some reason, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple decided to change web standards and drop JavaScript support and do all sorts of other stupid things, Google would be in a world of hurt. So to mitigate this dependency, Google decided to make a “huge” investment in their own browser.

Chrome, which was announced on September 1 2008, is it. It combines a lot of the best ideas from other browsers (Firefox and Opera are most obvious), and adds a lot of new features that, according to Google, will make this a future-friendly application. (Google built Chrome from scratch so it will not suffer from the code bloat and rot like Explorer or Firefox.)

The first thing that strikes me about Chrome is how simple it is. There are only a few buttons, and fairly straightforward options. After surfing around for a bit, the speed of Chrome became undeniably clear. Pages like Gmail and Maps were so much quicker and more responsive (possibly due to Google’s work on their own Java engine, v8) than when I ran them in other browsers.

Then I started to notice the cool features. Some of my favourites include the creation of application shortcuts, tab processes, and what they call the Omnibar. There are so many other features (some of which are documented in a little comic released by Google) that I will explore as I continue to use the application, but I already feel that this product is going to be a huge winner for Google. (After all, with such an extensive index of the Internet, Google has an uncanny ability to ensure that future updates to Chrome will enhance or, at the very least, not harm the user experience.)

So hats off to you, Googlers. It looks like you’ve done it again.

Update: I really wish that Chrome had better mousewheel (mouse5, to be specific) support!

Update: I also wish that Chrome did not have the Vista-styled application buttons. Vista is team lose.

One Response to “Why I Love Google [Chrome]”

  1. David Gerard Says:

    “We are so, so happy with Google Chrome,” mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. “That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement.” –

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