Browser Wars Episode II: Attack of the Chrome
In the second half of last year, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer series continued to fight it out with Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari (among others), web giant Google quietly but confidently waded into the fray with their new browser: Chrome. And while Microsoft and the other competitors fought for supremacy to view the web, Google’s intent was significantly larger – to change how you use your computer.
Cloud technology – that is Google’s aim: The idea that your applications and programs do not need to be hosted, supported and run by your operating system from your personal computer any more but rather, that they can exist on the web. The concept that you no longer have to buy, install and run a word processing – or any other – program when you can go to a website and write/save/print/publish everything on the spot.
Google created Chrome with the same plan of action a race car driver might convert a street car with. They eliminated the bells and whistles that slow down standard browsers like IE and Firefox and instead streamlined the process. Utilizing a “WebKit” engine, Chrome makes standard website functionality (back/forward, load, etc) quicker and more efficient (http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/features.html).
In regards to stability, Chrome’s best feature is the autonomy of tabbing. Unlike other browsers that wholly crash (and need to be rebooted) with some errors in one of the tabbed windows, Chrome limits the crash to that particular tab, so that a major error doesn’t cripple the entire program.
As of July 2009, Chrome has crept up to 2% of total browsers. Its creators have prepared releases for LINUX and Mac OS, and been very pointed in the fact that Internet Explorer is the only browser it is aiming for. With the continued development of Google-based cloud technologies, Chrome is definitely on the attack.