A new browser has come out, and as with most things related to Google the fanfare around the browser is coming from the eager technology junkees and not from the big G itself. It’s only been out a few days, but the early reports are that the speed is the key benefit, with availability of plugins as the main counterpoint.
Two downfalls to Chrome exist currently – first, no Mac support exists. As Mac users, we’re used to waiting for commercial releases to trickle down but I must say that I’m a bit disappointed given the relationship between Google and Apple. I understand the business reasons for targeting the highest volume market first, it’s just more of an emotional sting given that many Mac users see Apple and Google as the ‘dream team’ that will change the world, dethroning Microsoft from it’s tyranny over desktops everywhere (Although I’ll admit that MS Media Center is higher on the WAF (wife approval factor) than anything else out there right now).
That may be a bit melodramatic, and I’ll still be able to try Chrome out via Parallels, but testing for speed in an emulated environment is a bit…pointless. Still, it’s interesting to see Google trying new things to bring the web to it’s next plateau of potential. Faster browsing means more advertising for Google, but more rich experiences for users and less dependency on local hardware and storage.
The second downfall is a lack of plugins to enhance the browsing experience. Plugins are a necessary evil – they fill gaps in the core application and allow each part to focus on what it does well, but at the same time amature coders and those unfamiliar with the methodologies used for the core application can cause instability in the application which of course is blamed on the browser and not the plugins. For this reason, Google may choose to limit the plugin set, however that wouldn’t be very ‘open’ of them either.
Early reports are that Chrome has taken a 3% market share already (2.6% according to clicky) which is huge, but growth will likely slow dramatically after the early adopters have done their testing.
All-in-all, an interesting day on the internets…