The Chrome Browser
Google is now in the browser business. Chrome is the name of Google's new web browser, aimed squarely at competing with Microsoft Internet Explorer. So how does Chrome differ from IE, Firefox, Safari and other browsers? Read on for details and the Chrome download link...
Chrome - Google's Web Browser
Chrome is a brand new web browser, designed and built from scratch by the folks at Google. Why a new browser? Google says that today's browsers were not built with today's web in mind. But Chrome was designed to handle all the cool stuff web users want to do, such as watching and uploading videos, web chat, online games, and web-based applications like email, word processing, spreadsheets and photo editing.
Oh, and they also wanted to do something more to compete with their arch-rival from Redmond. Microsoft owns 90% of the browser market, and has been trying various tactics to funnel IE users away from Google services. Since Google owns two-thirds of the search market, they have a pretty good chance to gain traction with their new browser and lessen the potential impact of Microsoft.
The Chrome Philosophy - 4S
Chrome is built upon four basic deign pillars: Stability, Speed, Security and Simplicity. You can view this nifty cartoon to get an overview of how Chrome works, or read my executive summary below.
STABILITY - The software engineers at Google believe that since a browser is becoming more of a tool than a toy, it must be rock-solid. So they created an architecture that isolates each tab as a separate process. If a website locks up in one tab, or if a web-based program or plugin goes haywire, the entire browser (other tabs) don't go down in flames. Just close the tab with the problem, and continue on. This can help users see which sites are causing browser freeze ups, or consuming gobs of memory. They've also improved memory handling, so that when a tab is closed, all of the memory it was using is released. The same thing happens when you move from one site to another. As a result, Chrome should not be a memory hog -- a frequent criticism of Firefox.
SECURITY - The new architecture which makes each tab run in a separate memory space also benefits the overall security of the browser. Malware cannot access files or settings on your computer, since each tab runs in a "jail" which locks in your data, while also locking out keyloggers, access to your documents, registry changes and other nasties. Chrome also consults a list of known phishing and malware sites, so if you stumble into a potentially harmful site, lights and sirens will go off. There's also a nifty feature for stealth surfing -- you can open a page in a read-only tab, which works the same, except no history, caching, cookies will survive once you close the tab.
SIMPLICITY - Chrome was designed with tabs in mind, so the first thing they did was to flip the interface upside down, putting the tabs on top, with the location box and other controls down under. A unified "omnibox" handles urls, searches, and when you start typing, makes gentle suggestions to help you find a previously viewed page, or another page that might be helpful. And instead of a blank page for new tabs, Chrome keeps track of the pages you visit most often and puts links to those pages on the newly opened tab. Of course it's highly customizable, and every thing is open source, so other web developers can view the code, learn from it, and borrow ideas to make other web applications cooler.
Where Can I Download Chrome?
The beta (public test) version of Chrome is slated to be available on September 2, 2008 at 19:00 UTC. You can try this Chrome download link or download Chrome here, but neither link will work until the code is released. The beta version is for Windows only, but Google says that Mac OS X and Linux versions will follow soon.
Will Chrome rock the boat, or change the world? Post your comments below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 2 Sep 2008
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- The Chrome Browser (Posted: 2 Sep 2008)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved