What will Chrome mean for us?

Next Story

Sony Sountina: A Vibrating Organic Cylinder

Obviously the media is full of news about Google’s Chrome browser today. But do you think it will have an impact in the UK/European market? Will users take up the Chrome browser to the point where it will impact the mainstream? Or will it remain a browser for early adopters? With Firefox still relegated to the minority (though significant minority), does Chrome have a real chance? What does Chrome mean for UK and European businesses? If Chrome is a Windows Killer, will we be happy with that – or will it make the life of a startup more complex, with another browser to cater for in the marketplace?

Chrome will clearly be more than just a browser – it will bring together Google’s services on and offline. That means Google will know not just the contents of your Gmail and search terms, but also the URLs you visit, via this browser. Is that too much power for one company? Or will we prefer the ‘joined-up’ experience? Will the European Union have something to say about this, as it did about Microsoft’s Windows hegemony? Is Chrome the death-knell of the whole operating system world, apart from free Linux?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

  • http://blogstorm.co.uk Patrick Altoft

    I just wrote a blog post predicting that Chrome will have a bigger market share than Firefox by Christmas.

    If Google leverage’s their position as the worlds most trusted brand and starts to promote Chrome on all their we properties then they could easily get millions of downloads a month.

  • http://robert.morrison.name Robert Morrison

    If Google Chrome is of the same high quality as most of the other Google apps (like Calendar, Notes, Reader, etc) then I believe it will have an almost immediate and significant impact on the browser landscape, and I will certainly be an early adopter if this turns out to be true.

  • http://blog.lodeblomme.be Lode Blomme

    Google has better access to a big audience through Google Mail. Current users of Firefox on the other hand might stick to it because of the plugins they already use.

  • http://www.relearn.ie/2008/09/02/made-in-denmark/ Thor Harvenschteenwingston

    Never mind ze Irish what about us Viking java-shriptings technology builders for the new google web machines: http://www.relearn.ie/2008/09/02/made-in-denmark/

  • http://fletchnz.com Fletch

    Aaarrgghh! Looks like more work on cross-browser platform development to me. Ah what the hell. May as well just get on with it.

  • Daniel Mettler

    If Google delivers what they promise (couldn’t test Chrome yet, but I have no doubts), Chrome will be the new WebOS and have a huge impact on both the web and traditional OS manufacturers.

    All left for the IE, Safari, FF, Opera camps is trying to adapt and top it (perhaps using an “embrace and extend” strategy in the cases of IE and Safari).

    Some more arguments and notes on my blog: http://www.numlock.ch/news/it/some-techie-notes-about-google-chrome/

  • http://www.richard-marshall.com Richard M Marshall

    I believe that Chrome is designed to drive an applications market, linked to Gears, and that they’re going to use their position as the fastest, most stable platform for Ajax-type apps to then drive down into the purely browsing space.

    Look out for improved versions of gmail, calendar, etc running on Chrome as an reason to switch.

  • http://www.chickerino.com Marcus Greenwood

    Was slightly skeptical at first hearing the news that we’d have to support yet another browser (with all its own little ‘features’/bugs) but in retrospect I gotta say that this looks absolutely killer. Glad they decided to go with Webkit rather than write a rendering engine from scratch.

    This totally and utterly overshadows the [not so] impending release of IE8 and highlights the fact that whilst a large company such as Google is able to continue innovating, Microsoft is quite simply NOT.

    Google > MS

  • Liam

    Is it just another way for Google to track your internet usage, are we able to opt out? These are questions I am wondering, sure I don’t mind it keeping a list of sites I visit as I do nothing illegal but what about people that want to keep their privacy.

  • http://www.camera-shake.com Fraser Smith

    If it can load a PDF or a Java app in one tab while browsing in another then it could be a Firefox killer. I hate it when FF3 locks up completely whilst opening PDFs. The multi process nature of Chrome sounds like it’ll alleviate this pain.

    Looking forward to it, I hope it lives up to the buzz.

  • http://builtbydave.co.uk David Stone

    I’d already wrote my thoughts out over on my blog.

    @Liam, can you opt out. Yes.

    @Marcus, support another browser? As the rendering engine is based on WebKit I doubt it’ll require extra work to support the CSS.. on the JS front they’ve rolled their own engine, V8. Hopefully it won’t have to many issues!

    @Lode, the plugins for Firefox that you talk off are IMHO the reason Mozilla have not switched to WebKit already.

  • http://tripleodeon.com James

    As an aside, Google are great at making this stuff look accidental.

    Read the comic and it’s a helpful dose of open-source altruism (not to mention some ah, confident, exposition) from their smart developers.

    But one would suspect this is part of a greater plan. e.g. Wall Street considered it somewhat favourably (for a few hours at least ;-) )

  • D

    This isn’t Google’s first browser.

    This is Google’s first operating system :)

  • L.

    It desperately needs an ad blocker that’s for sure. Otherwise it’s rather good so far

  • http://www.techfruit.com Tim | TechFruit

    @L. – I don’t see Google introing an ad blocker anytime soon as they would not block AdSense, and if they blocked everything but AdSense I’m sure some competition commissions will have something to say. Someone could develop one as a plugin anyway though (not that I approve as a web developer myself though)

    Having played with Chrome for the past few hours, it is a fantastic and very quick browser. It will probably replace Firefox for me as my day-to-day browser. Firefox will stay my web development/design browser due to its addons, IE will stay for ActiveX sites, and Opera and Safari will stay for testing purposes.

    With its single type-in bar and freeing up most of the monitor space, this could be the browser of choice on embedded systems such as PVRs etc as they move to take advantage of video-on-demand.

    This will be interesting.

  • http://londonbikers.com Jay Adair

    For a beta, it’s very functional and so far, rock solid. I’m loving it.

    Though Google have a track-record for releasing good products and under promoting them though, i.e. Google Talk and Google Video. Will this one fall to the wayside, or will they promote it full-on via their homepage as has already been suggested? If it does, it’ll change the browser world, forever!

  • schmoo

    Already mentioned several times, but worth reiterating: it’s not going to be “another browser to cater for”, unless you aren’t currently catering for Safari.

    Yeah, me neither :)

  • http://www.brainbakery.com Jof Arnold

    It’ll mean the end of Flash. Okay so maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but canvas games and such are incredibly fast. How fast? Check this out: http://tinyurl.com/ChromeBench

  • http://ramziyakob.blogspot.com Ramzi Yakob

    I’m pretty convinced that Chrome will find massive market share. I understand that the majority of internet users don’t stray from their pre-installed applications, however in the UK, all Sony and Dell laptops (and probably desktops) come pre-installed with Google Desktop (replacing the Vista side bar).

    Even though Google has announced that the referrals scheme has been closed (to the public), I’d hazard a strong guess that it won’t be long before we see Chrome pre-installed on systems too.

    In my opinion it is a fantastic browser – its just a question of how long will it take before we see some useful addons for it.

    Cheers, Ramzi

  • http://www.brainbakery.com Jof Arnold

    Side-note: it makes Webcanvas.com absolutely stonking!

  • Dom Sparks

    I’m a developer working on corporate web based apps (BI, BMP, ERM, etc), and our customers pretty much only use I.E. That’s definately not going to change soon, I don’t think. MS dominate the corporate desktop and web-based office-apps from anyone other than MS are unlikely to make an impact there. Given that any kind of power in a web-based app pretty much needs a plug-in such as Google Gears or Silverlight or even Flash, at some point any shift towards web-based office & business apps is going to require a plug-in.
    The stiffs-in-suits at most corporates are more likely to accept I.E. + Silverlight (especially if it’s bundled), rather than gearing up to Chrome (or firefox or safari) + Google Gears. So personally, as a step towards a replacement for desktop apps, I think it’s pointless. Although I’m really hoping I’ll be able to eat my words sometime in the next couple of years :)
    I’m still waiting to see what impact the new iphone’s Exchange capability will have. It’s bound to result in corporate users wanting mobile access to their business apps (things like BPM, BI, web-based spreadsheets etc), and with it a necessity for their IT depts to accept other browsers off the desktop. For the poor sods like me who have to do the work to support multiple browsers it seems like Silverlight is again the only way forward, and in this sense the appearance of Chrome is irrelevent – we’ll just be developing Silverlight apps that run on a Silverlight plug in, whether it be IE on the desktop, or Safari on the Iphone, or Chrome (presumably) on Android based mobiles…

  • http://mediaquake.wordpress.com Philip Buxton

    Yep – agree it’s part of an operating system – when you combine it with all Google’s apps – Talk, word processing, Gmail, spreadsheets etc. etc. That means it’s a great mobile play too.

    More here: http://mediaquake.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/chrome-could-make-a-g-phone-more-powerful/

  • Matt

    I downloaded chrome, installed, and spent 10 minutes with it last night. Yes, it’s all very nice and quick and well thought out. Personally, I wouldn’t use it right away because I miss my firefox extensions too much (I can’t live without mouse gestures now). I also would think twice about using chrome to submit any significant comments, blog posts, or creative output given their ridiculous user-license.

    But as for the majority of UK users? I’ve asked a few people and, of my colleagues, most of them don’t even know what a browser *is*. Yes they’ve heard the phrase “Internet Explorer” but had no idea there are alternatives available or why one might want to use them. IE = the Internet = Google to most people in the street. That google are offering some sort of new thing to download is making things more complicated than they need to be.

    I’m asked the question “Okay, so what does this thing do that the normal Internet doesn’t?” and saying “Well, it’s faster” just won’t convince someone to install something new.

  • http://www.ardentedge.com George Toms

    Google Chrome is really fast!
    Now I can sort 200,000 records inside of Browser (Chrome) just in 1 sec. (Faster than Microsoft Excel):

  • Lumz

    I wish Google could do something about javascript and pdf soon. Otherwise I like it and I think i will adopt it as my browser from now on. Its clean face works for me.

blog comments powered by Disqus