Chrome fallout

Since Chrome’s official release some two days ago it certainly has gotten a lot of press, both positive and negative.

What’s good

On the positive side, there are some reports that Chrome’s market share has already surpassed that of Opera, coming in at close to 2.5% when I last checked. These results should be taken with a grain of salt, as Clicky’s web analytics might only be used by websites that tend to be visited by those more technically-inclined and thus more likely to try out something like Chrome. (Though Chrome’s visibility on Google’s main page no doubt has some small part in its fast growth)

For what it’s worth, Google Analytics on my lowly-trafficked site amounted to over 4% of hits in the past five days. (Google Analytics has since started identifying Chrome as a specific browser type, no surprise)

Chrome browser share
Chrome browser share on my site

What’s iffy

While the V8 JavaScript engine of Chrome was reported to be fast (myself included) Mozilla has fired back with their own results when compared to the upcoming Firefox 3.1, which also features a newer, faster JavaScript engine dubbed TraceMonkey.

Even if this only manages to bring Firefox 3.1 to within striking distance of Chrome for JavaScript performance, it’ll still easily hand the win over to Firefox 3.1 considering its much larger established base and support for extensions/addons.

Microsoft, meanwhile, still seems to have their heads in the sand when it comes to IE. True, IE7 still have a substantial margin on any other browser but that lead has been steadily sinking. Though IE8 will likely be a vast improvement over IE7 and seeks to erase all memories of the abomination that was IE6, it looks like Microsoft will have its work cut out with the stiff competition from Firefox and Chrome.

Problems

The release was not without controversy, as since this product was from Google, many privacy concerns were voiced. There were concerns about the “GoogleUpdate.exe” process that is installed with Chrome, which apparently allows for higher privileges to install software, which understandably freaked out some users. Generally, unwanted processes running in the background are just the thing the tinfoil-hat wearers are looking for.

Additionally, some keen-eyed users who perused the EULA discovered that Google had apparently tried to claim ownership of all content posted through Chrome. (Who actually reads a EULA?) Evidently, it was all a mishap, as Google quickly moved to correct the errors in the TOS. Apparently, in the rush to release Chrome, a “standard” TOS was used as the basis for the EULA, most likely similar to the ones covering services like Blogger, etc.

My own experiences

Personally, I’m very pleased with the browser. The “application shortcut” feature is very nice as it makes web apps like Gmail integrate very nicely with the desktop. I can’t wait to setup my Mom’s computer with shortcuts to things like Gmail that will undoubtedly make her life easier.

The JavaScript performance is very fast compared to other browsers, but some things like Flash are still buggy at times. This has caused problems with sites like Google Finance (which uses Flash for the charts) and YouTube, which are ironically Google’s own services.

I guess the “Beta” tag and the lack of a full version number excuse these problems, though it looks as if the list of bugs is already quite extensive. Google’s bug tracker for Chrome lists over a thousand bugs/feature requests currently, though likely many of them are duplicates. (Google is, however, following the trend of using the “Beta” moniker in an increasingly loose manner)

3 Comments »

  1. Hm, I couldn’t get JavaScript going at all.
    And whats so different about their application shortcut?

    The biggest issue I have with browsers is that it chews up sooo much memory. I have Chrome running at about 85% memory use in comparison to Firefox, and that isn’t nearly enough of a reduction.

    As for general style… I’m not overly convinced. Yes, more viewable space without a title bar or status bar, but it doesn’t feel right without it.

  2. [...] Chrome fallout [...]

  3. i am a big lover of google ,and cos chrome is from google i installed it ,but it is now asking me to download adobe flash movie plugin. i am so disappointed.

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