Google announced its browser product, called Chrome, a couple of days ago. This is viewed as a direct challenge by Google into Microsoft’s turf, and adds to the already-heated browser market share war.
So how is the product? Just because Google releases something doesn’t mean it will be a hit. Therefore, I downloaded Google Chrome and tried it out. Below are my first impressions of this product:
What I liked
Incognito Browsing: This presents a copy of the browsing history to be kept in the browser. This is a handy function if you share your computer with anyone else.
Easy Bookmarking: To bookmark a site, simply click on the star button right next to the address bar. It can’t get simpler than that.
Crash control: When something crashes, only the tab, and not the entire browser, will be affected. This is particularly handy as some people like to open many pages at the same time.
No problem with double byte input: When Safari was first released for Windows, I had problems inputting double byte characters. This is not an issue with Chrome.
What I disliked
Download management: One of the features of Chrome was supposedly its superior handling of file downloads. However, I found this to be one of the drawbacks. When I tried to download files, I was greeted by a blank screen for an extended amount of time — during which I had no idea whether the download was occurring, and if so, how much of the file has been downloaded — apparently until the file was downloaded.
Will Chrome be an IE killer? Not necessarily, at least not at the beginning. People who will try Chrome are likely to be the Firefox crowd, who are more open to try new browsers. How Chrome will do long term depends a lot on how much marketing Google is willing to put behind it. For example, will there be a link to the Chrome download page from Google’s home page? If so, we can expect Chrome to be a serious player in the browser market. If not, then Chrome will just be another niche browser like Opera.