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Google's New "Chrome" browser will hurt...Firefox?

by Slikkster / September 1, 2008 10:46 PM PDT

I'm reading about the new Google web browser (still can't download it) called "Chrome". Some of the news stories are painting this as "Google takes another shot at Microsoft", as if Chrome will only affect Microsoft's Internet Explorer. I don't see that; at least not yet, anyway.

There are already many alternative browsers to IE, with Firefox being the most dominant of the group. If IE users are tempted to switch to SOMETHING, why would they wait for Google's browser vs. Firefox (or Opera, Safari, etc.)?

I see this as potentially muddying the alternative browser front, vs. harming IE's share, primarily. Thoughts?

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It hurts Firefox not IE.
by isting / September 2, 2008 1:12 AM PDT

Chrome is more of a threat to Firefox than IE. IE users are mostly not tech savvy and don't know how to install another browser. Firefox users will try Chrome and may switch if it is good enough.

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IE users not capable of installing another browser?
by c.b.mullen / September 6, 2008 3:09 AM PDT

What a pompous remark! Who are you to judge whether or not IE users are capable of installing another browser? Your condescending and incorrect remark is neither desired nor appreciated.

I've used Safari and don't like it. I occasionally use Firefox but I prefer IE, especially the IE8 Beta 2.

I will never install anything Google on my computers. Google's only interest is to capture all the personal information and web browsing habits of its users and sell the information to third party companies. If you care about your privacy you will not install any Google applications on your computer.

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You right
by broiled049 / September 6, 2008 7:03 PM PDT

Google have some problems for now.

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You are right
by Racc / September 8, 2008 2:14 AM PDT

It is true that many people use IE because they like it better after trying other browsers. However, it is also true that the vast majority of Windows users have never tried another browser simply because what is included with the computer is good enough. It is not that they cannot install another browser, it is simply that they don't want to bother. I did once an experiment in a computer available to many students: I designated Firefox as the default browser, put the Firefox shortcut icon on the desktop, renamed it "Internet", and removed the MSIE icon from the desktop. Not a single user looked for MSIE in the Start menu, and *it was* installed.

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I've installed several browsers, none are perfect
by albizzia / September 7, 2008 11:49 AM PDT

I've tried Firefox and was not impressed, went back to IE7 as IE7 has a clean interface with minimal toolbars and maximal space for the web page.

Safari was even worse. Who at apple came up with the stupid idea of loading the bookmarks/favorites as a web page, very sloooowly? In typical Apple fashion, it insisted on inserting its own entries into the bookmarks. Safari was supposed to be fast, but that wasn't what I found.

Chrome is a serious challenger to IE, it is noticeably faster than IE and has many slick features missing from IE. Like IE7 it displays less toolbars and more web page than FF or Safari (but IE7 still has Chrome beat in web page size, with a full screen mode and a nifty page zoom function missing from Chrome). It still has a few bugs and crashes occasionally, that's to be expected in a beta version. It handle crashes well, usually closing just the offending tab.

Chrome has a few peculiarities. When the favorites/bookmarks were imported from IE, it picked several at random and displayed them across the bookmark bar, apparently for convenience sake - but none were frequently used, or recently used, or recently added. I wish it would have asked me to pick which ones I wanted there, that would have been more convenient and useful.

Still, Chrome is the first alternative to IE that I can honestly say I prefer.

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by mindpower / September 9, 2008 11:46 PM PDT

LOL, I think the numerous benchmarks of browsers strongly disagree with your "IE is fastest" sentiment. There's also a full-screen view for Firefox, try pressing F11. In terms of layout, you can easily show or hide any of Firefox's toolbars from the View menu. I have just an address bar with the forward, back and reload buttons. Pretty minimal hey? As for having bookmarks and favourites as a web page, Opera does this too.

Maybe you should learn a bit more about browsers before offering another opinion.

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Harming IE's Share???
by tango_fox1 / September 2, 2008 1:15 AM PDT

I for one don't use IE not even at work but when you look at their share of the browser market it will just add an alternative which is good for everyone. My hope is that this will cause users to realise that there is more to browsing than IE and it will help improve the standards compliance by browsers.

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Lacking the zoom feature of Firefox 3
by Zarakand / September 2, 2008 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Harming IE's Share???

I tried it for a little bit, but found it dissapointing since it lacked the progressive zoom of Firefox 3. On a wide screen monitor that feature is a must!

It also lacks a built in spell check. For example it will underline words in red that are incorrect but right clicking will not bring up a list of correct spellings. Little features like this I'm sure will be addressed in the next version.

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Very fast, but a few things missing...
by albizzia / September 7, 2008 11:13 AM PDT

I didn't realize that the zoom was missing until you mentioned it. That can be useful for hard to see photos. It does have a limited "text zoom" under the page icon.

It does have a spell check of sorts, as the red underline indicates. When you right click a red underlined word, it pops up a menu, and if it has a clue to what the correct spelling might be, the guess or guesses are at the top of the menu. If it doesn't have a clue to the correct spelling (and that is often) then only the menu is shown. That can be a bit confusing, perhaps it should say something like

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by Slikkster / September 2, 2008 6:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Harming IE's Share???

Yes, market share. That's just a stat, not a preference.

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Google's New "Chrome" browser will hurt...Firefox?
by wizkids32 / September 2, 2008 7:17 AM PDT

Don't think so because I am not going to use it at all.

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by zefyr66 / September 2, 2008 10:18 AM PDT

This thing is screaming fast. Have you seen the stats. Javascript is at least 10 times faster, much more sometimes. Im sticking w it. The speed is so nice. It actually does make it seem like an OS.

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Chrome and FF re: Javavscript
by GERRY RAINS / September 6, 2008 2:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Chrome-o-rama

by zefyr66 - 9/2/08 5:18 PM

"This thing is screaming fast. Have you seen the stats. Java script is at least 10 times faster, much more sometimes. Im sticking w it. The speed is so nice. It actually does make it seem like an OS."


What you said is absolutely true relative to FF 3.01.

However, FF3.1 (now in beta) blows Chrome out of the water re Java script. When FF 3.1 comes out in final form it will then be up to Google to try to match FF 3.1 in this area, since FF 3.1 is superior to Chrome in so many other ways. Of course the EULA for Chrome essentially sells your soul to Google. A fool and his information are soon available to the most mendacious and ambitious company this side of Microsoft. Mozilla doesn't want your information, but Google sure does.

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No threat to FF on my machines
by koolkris / September 2, 2008 11:27 AM PDT

The first thing I disliked about Chrome was that there's no choice where it installs. The C drive on my laptop is full and I've been installing all programs on the D drive. (I uninstalled Google Earth and Acrobat Reader for the same reason.)

I don't have a speed problem in FF3, I love the add-ons and have tweaked it to my liking. The zoom feature is a necessity for me. There was nothing about Chrome that excited me. I have now uninstalled it.

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by mindpower / September 9, 2008 11:48 PM PDT

Get a Mac, then you'll never again need to worry about that archaic idea of having C and D drives. Grin

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Google OS: Chrome
by Smith_ers / September 2, 2008 8:33 PM PDT

I have been using it now for about 2 days and must say that it doesn't really have a great deal going for it at the moment - ON THE FRONT END - I can't comment on the "stuff" it does with mem management or security etc etc as you can't touch it of course.

I do however have the following observations based on usage so far though:

The problem with chrome is that if you; as a user; are ready to adopt it this early then you are a probably a google services user and hence will require the integration that your normal browser has but with the lighter front end and security / memory management features of chrome.

The interface is only early Beta but I must ask - where is the space in that interface to add services such as: gmail manager, google notebook add-ons etc..there seems to be very little real-estate to build this extra functionality onto at the minute. Sure you could have 10 tabs open with these running as separate "apps" but that surely would invalidate the cleanliness of the GUI. You can also have this functionality with Prism from Mozilla!!

They may have improved the backend and security but that is a programmers POV / needs / desires - not a users per se.

- To take the status bar out was a bold choice but was it the right one?

- To have removable tabs is functionality built in is useful but is it going to prove to be integral to users in both long and short term?

- To give each application tab a full set of "tools" as integral but did it just not take up real estate that the status bar has been sacrificed for?

I personally think that there needs to be more front end introduced to realise this as a true competitor to FF or even Opera in the functionality stakes.

I could go on but in all fairness I genuinely welcome this addition into the browser market and am really starting to appreciate all the google services as they mature and their evolution well into the desktop / cloud operating environment but time will tell with this one.

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A browser as an OS?
by Slikkster / September 2, 2008 10:17 PM PDT

My question is simple: How can an application that relies upon an actual operating system (e.g. MS Windows) to run claim to be an OS in and of itself?

When the day comes that you can boot to Chrome and use all Google apps offline, and install third party apps plus all the other features one would expect in a true OS, then I'll let it lay claim to that title. Otherwise, it's at best a subset of an OS.

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Will stay with IE
by hfhlt004 / September 7, 2008 5:38 PM PDT
In reply to: A browser as an OS?

Though I try each browser that comes out, I always return to IE. How fast do you need to be?? It seems that everyone would eventually get browser fatigue.

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I like a couple of things about it.
by isting / September 3, 2008 12:46 AM PDT

I like the "Most visited" page layout. I also like the the "History" page.

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Why Chrome will NEVER defeat Firefox
by zeryck / September 3, 2008 1:50 AM PDT

Chrome simply cannot defeat Firefox because of extensibility. I don't know how much Google will let users add on to Chrome. However, I can't imagine they would give the same kind of freedom. For example, the Adblock extension is in direct competition with Google's ad program. The fact is, with a browser tied to a corporation, there just isn't going to be the same kind of extensibility and innovation.

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by chiara embaum / September 5, 2008 4:33 PM PDT

I have been using FF for a while now and am crazy about it. Just love the way it looks, the addons etc. The Speed Dial, Thumbnail, zoom, choice of themes, all of it Great.

I don't know anything about the Technical Stuff but I'm a sucker for anything that Looks Nice and FF certainly does the job.

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Privacy Issues.
by Renegade Knight / September 4, 2008 4:56 AM PDT

I don't trust anything from Google not to slurp up all my data and information and store it for their own use forever. The EULA for Chrome pretty well spells out that they can slurp up data transmitted via Chrome.

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Google thinks...
by Nicholas Buenk / September 4, 2008 12:08 PM PDT

That they can take on IE better than mozilla can. Because regular people trust the google brand and haven't heard of mozilla. And they can put a link to it on google search the worlds most used web site.
Also note it's webkit based so it's using safari's engine. But rather than webkits JavaScriptCore they are using V8 a much faster javascript.

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by Slikkster / September 4, 2008 11:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Google thinks...

If it's "regular" people you're going to use as your model of a Google Chrome user, I'd say this: If they don't know about Firefox (and let's be clear, the name people DO know is Firefox, not the parent Mozilla), then they probably don't know why they would need or want a new browser. In other words, they already know what they use to get to; Internet Explorer.

"Regular" people as you define them are probably not that pc savvy to begin with. I think it would be very problematic for another company to convince them to change something, much less get them to actually know how to use it or even access it, for that matter.

So again, my take is that Chrome is going to appeal mostly to those who are ALREADY looking for or using a browser alternative, not moms and pops who are none the wiser.

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by Nicholas Buenk / September 5, 2008 4:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Well...

Google is aiming at the people who are able to install and download a program but haven't bothered to install firefox. Wink

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It's all about features
by zynixo / September 5, 2008 2:29 PM PDT

I've spent about 2 hour exploring Chrome. No, there isn't that much to it, I was just making sure I didn't miss anything. As far as I can tell, Chrome is exactly what Google is making it out to be: a simplistic, powerful browser. All the pages I loaded look the same as in FF3. The bookmarks work well, and the new tab page is quite useful. The speed it loads pages at is very nice. Also, it has an "incognito" window you can load. It doesn't save anything to the hard drive. The cache is instantly cleared, cookies are repressed, but secure sites still load. I'll be the first to admit, as far as features go, it isn't anywhere near FF, but that's where the "simplistic" comes from. I personally plan to use them both, depending on my mood and purpose.

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It's more than that....
by Nicholas Buenk / September 6, 2008 12:48 AM PDT

It's rather revolutionary actually.
One process per tab, solves the problem of sites that crash and memory leaks. And those processes and sandboxed to prevent a security flaw from compromising you!
It's webkit based which is a smaller more efficient web rendering engine than gecko. But they used V8 for javascript, much faster it converts the script into machine code.
So it has powerful features, without a clutter of maybe useful for some people things. I think that's the right approach.

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re Zinxo's reply
by Quiglyalso / September 6, 2008 1:37 AM PDT

Hi, To some extent this mirrors my own thoughts. However Chrome has the potential to damage both IE and Firefox. Good luck D.D.

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Firefox is better than Chrome.
by mrlightrail / September 5, 2008 2:59 PM PDT

I use IE, Firefox3, and just installed Chrome. Chrome seems to be slower in loading pages, I'll credit that to it being ver 1 beta. I am forced to stay with IE, because I can't watch Netflix streamed movies, or use Spiralfrog with Firefox. Stupid MS DRM issues. I use Firefox for 98 percent of all my browsing, and only problems I encounter with it is a lot of my favorite extentions will not run on this version, and the MS DRM issues.

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ietab is your hero
by RobertK2of3 / September 5, 2008 3:31 PM PDT

Try the IE Tab plugin for FF. We have a lot of IE only web software at work. I use IE Tab and never have to leave FF.

I've heard Netflix works with ietab (I think Tom mentioned it on the show).

Its a little scary when you remember a friend mentioning something in a conversation and later realize it was a podcast. Tom is kinda like a friend.....sorta...?

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