Monday, September 1, 2008

Google Chrome Web Browser

The Google Comic Book on Google Chrome provides insight into what to expect from the Google Chrome web browser. The AppleInsider article Google Planning New Chrome Browser Based on WebKit is a thorough and useful summary of some of the highlights of this project.

The Official Google Blog entry A Fresh Take on the Browser states that Google Chrome will be launched tomorrow (2 September 2008) in over one hundred countries and will be available for Windows-based systems.

My biggest concerns about Google Chrome are:

1. What effect will it have on the success of Mozilla Firefox?

2. Will the Flash plug-in player be supported fully in Google Chrome?

Google has supported Firefox in the past and helped make Firefox an important force in the web browser space. Google Analytics reports that nearly 70 percent of visitors to my blog are using Firefox. I explain this unusually high percentage of Firefox users by rationalizing that most people visiting my blog are software developers and most software developers I know strongly prefer Firefox or some other non-IE browser over IE. As someone who uses Firefox heavily, I'd hate to see support for it dwindle. The Google Blog entry announcing Google Chrome's release specifically mentions use of Firefox components and talks of providing code and support back to the community. Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering about the impact of Google's support being focused on its own web browser instead of Firefox.

The AppleInsider article referenced previously states that plug-ins such as Flash will be supported in Google Chrome. The blog entry Google Chrome, the security tidbits points out that current plug-ins will circumvent some of Google Chrome's security mechanisms.

Because Google Chrome focus areas include standards compliance and speedy JavaScript performance, I hope to see improved browser experiences for developers and users in the future. Whether or not Google Chrome ever captures significant market share, it is likely that it will provide ideas and components that make other web browsers better. I will be curious to see if Google Chrome has success closer to the market-leading Google search engine or closer to one of the numerous web browsers that significantly lack the market share of the browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Other useful blogs on Google Chrome include Google OS is Actually a Browser and Google Chrome: Not Invented Here Syndrome Invades Mountain View.

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