Google seems to have surprised us again with the announcement and release of their lightweight browser named Google Chrome. The idea of yet another browser seems like a waste of resources, but I wanted to give it a try.
The download from the Google Chrome website was fast and the installation was really quick. When the installation finished after a brief wait, it imported by Firefox bookmarks and browsing history for my use later. The browser loads very fast and reveals a pretty simple user interface, which is part of the design goal from what I understand.
My initial thoughts about the UI, I like the way the address bar is inside each tab which seems a bit more intuitive. It seems Google is trying to step back and think out-of-the-box about how a browser should act and I applaud them for this. I can say this is a clean UI with no bells and whistles getting in the way.
The Google Chrome site explains some of the thoughts going into this design:
So today we’re releasing the beta version of a new open source browser: Google Chrome.
On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff – the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.
This is just the beginning – Google Chrome is far from done. We’ve released this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We’re hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and we’ll continue to make it even faster and more robust.
This makes me wonder what the plugin story will be, or if there will even be one. Firefox wins big with users because you can add all types of plugins to customize how you want Firefox to behave and function.
I was actually surprised by the amount of praise given to Chrome on Twitter, you might have thought Google had split the atom with this release. Maybe I follow a bunch of Google fan-boys and they applaud everything the company does or maybe I am just missing the point here. I am going to give Chrome a workout over the next couple weeks and see how well it works.
An additional downside to this browser it that it only works on Windows, but a Mac version will be available later or you can build it yourself from source.
After kicking the tires of Chrome I will give some more feedback in a later post.