About a week ago, Google entered the browser wars by releasing their own web browser named Chrome. Unfortunately it’s available only for Windows. Remember a while ago Apple made a play by releasing their web browser Safari onto the Windows platform. Judging by the response and the numbers, Google Chrome has been doing pretty well. Some say it’s gotten over 1% of the market share in just a few days. I don’t know where it stands now, but that’s pretty impressive.

My impressions of the browser after about a week.

  • I like the that my start page is an iconic view of my most recent visits.
  • I like that the browser takes a back seat to the content. By this I mean they’ve tried really hard at making the Google browser take up as little visual space as possible leaving more room for the actual website.
  • I like that it’s blazing fast. Do I notice it? In some cases yes, in others I think it’s probably my impression that it’s fast.

So what’s wrong with Chrome and why won’t I be switching. First of all I’m a mac guy. Sure I put up with Vista at work but for my play and work play, I like my mac and I’m not going to go VMWare unity mode on Google Chrome just to use it. The other more important reason – FireFox plugins and extensions. FireFox has come along ways as a browser. They’ve made their browser really useful by letting developers create plugins that enhance our browsing experience and/or producitivity. Some of these examples include Cooliris, the plugin formerly known as PicLens, the Google toolbar, the Stumbleupon toolbar, and the delicious toolbar. A very useful extension for web developers is FireBug. Unless these slowly migrate over to Google Chrome, I can’t say whole heartedly that I will be switching over.

However that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t recommend it for someone like my wife who doesn’t use any of these plugins. Google Chrome is a great solution for most people who needs are simply just web surfing.

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