Google Chrome: One Month Later

83 thoughts on “Google Chrome: One Month Later”

  1. The current release of Chrome is just about getting it out of the door, with most of the value lying in scaring Ballmer and Co a teeny weeny bit. The actual value is when the apps shape up around it (none of the apps that currently support it on Google, especially Docs, work reasonably well offline with it now) to the extent where they can be used on a daily basis.

    Interestingly, that is when they will also open up weird anti-trust avenues for B&C to attack them. We are headed for interesting times.

  2. I installed Chrome on day one, and after a week of use, was unable to return to firefox except for the occasion instance where I needed a plugin and didn’t want to install it in Chrome. After a week, firefox seemed to take a loooong time to startup (relative to Chrome) and pages take forever to load (again, relative to Chrome).

    So far, it’s been great, and I don’t really understand the snark against it (see jenkins, above). Chrome is super fast, very stable, and has some very nice features. It doesn’t change the world, but it’s a very nice browser for Windows. It is significantly faster and more stable than firefox or explorer. If you just remove the love vs hate of google, it’s hard to see why every windows user wouldn’t be using this.

  3. Just as RC said, I now use Chrome for most of the browsing, for the rest I use Firefox when I need a plugin or a feature not yet available in Chrome. It is very fast, very stable, very easy on eyes.
    I think the beta version is mostly for letting the world be aware of its presence and that a runtime environment version is not far off.

  4. Fast, so I like to use it for Google Reader, but then I cannot save things into Zotero – my reference tool. Can’t use it for gmail, because it doesn’t support GTDInbox addon. I use Google Apps, so therefore use same browser for Mail, Docs ..
    Until it gets the ecosystem around it, I cannot use it as much as I would like to.

  5. Spot checking a half dozen of the sites I manage with traffic ranging from 15k to 150k unique visitors over the course of the last month, Chrome numbers never rose over 1%. The majority of what I’ve seen is less than .5%, in fact.

  6. I have really enjoyed the browser overall, but I am waiting for my have to have password program, RoboForm, to port. I got way to many passwords to remember, and do not trust browser password managers (and have had spotty success).

    Presently on my site, Chrome checks in at 4th place with a paltry 3.07%. Firefox checks in at 47.18%, IE at 43.78%, and Safari at 4.23%. The remaining browsers make up less than 2% of traffic to my site.

  7. I still don’t understand why all the negative feedbacks about Chrome. Ever since its release I use it strictly as replacement to IE. It is extremely fast, and the look is very nice and simple. However, I still use Firefox when watching video. But I also installed the chromifox add-on to make it look like Chrome. Firefox might have a better chance with Chrome. But as far as IE concerns, I stop using it completely.

  8. the initial land/IP grab in the original EULA speaks volumes about Google’s intentions – not pro user – recent patent publications too look fairly week … me thinks they have real competition outside core search – a very good thing

  9. I have converted to chrome, except for a few sites that don’t render well in it. The biggest plus is the ability to kill Flash plugins without disturbing the rest of the setup. Flash seems to go on to 20-30% CPU quite often.

  10. Tried Chrome on day 1 and immediately got hooked and switched (from Safari). Really fast, clean; love the pull out tabs feature. Other little goodies too, like if you do a search, the locations show up as bars on the scrollbar. Bookmark handling is still a pain though: import isn’t reliable and no way to export. I don’t use plugins much, that wasn’t an issue for me.

    BTW, Firefox 3 crashes regularly for me on both my 32 bit laptop and 64 bit desktop, very frustrating. I’m surprised others aren’t seeing this.

  11. chrome is ok-ish, short on killer features, would be killer if I didn’t use opera, and know all of it’s features, which, by the way, leave every other browser on Earth in the dust.
    Firefox pisses me off, clunky workflow missing loads of features, and no, I am not a fan of installing enless fixes, er, plug-ins.
    I just wish more, er, all web developers would ‘allow’ opera to work with their sites.

  12. At http://www.thealexandrian.net we’re currently seeing 5.2% of our traffic coming from Chrome, compared to 53.6% for Firefox, 29.2% for Explorer, and 5.5% for Safari.

    Personally, I like Chrome’s incognito mode. I also like Chrome’s tab interface and the isolated nature of crashes has already proven useful. But I’m still using Firefox more frequently, largely because it’s still set as the default. And it’s still set as a default because Chrome’s feature set isn’t fully there yet.

  13. Usage of Chrome isn’t as high up on my blog as on others: ff 44.70%, ie 44.41%, chrome 3.57%

    At work (Windows) Chrome is my browser of choice, I’m longing for the OSX release so that I can use it at home. On the systems I use, the launch time is so much quicker than FF, which is key for me.

    Most of the developers in the company are also using Chrome on their systems with little interest in IE8.

  14. Being a web developer, I spend at least 10-12 hrs a day inside a browser window. And though this sounds like an infomercial, Chrome increased my productivity and definitely made my work more enjoyable and inspired me to do more. Not only do I think Chrome is a definite game changer, I predict its browser share will hit double digits, in the next 3 months.
    The strengths of Chrome as I perceive:
    1. Speed – blows IE and FF away.
    2. Simplicity – the lack of add-ons, as I see it, is actually a good thing – makes it leaner and faster)
    3. Separate process for each tab.
    4. Open source which means an active community(though not as big as FF at present).
    5. Extensive testing by Google against the entire web.

    I did hit a few snags initially with the official release of Chrome on my Windows 2003 64-bit, all of
    which have been solved by installing the Nightly build of Chromium(the open source brother of Chrome).

    The Chrome share on the website(99% US traffic) I build and maintain are at par with ones mentioned
    in the post:
    Total Visitors: 2,590,553 (Sep 5 – Oct 5 2008)
    IE7 + IE6: 41.3 + 22.6
    Firefox: 17.28
    Safari: 13.32
    Chrome: 3.07

  15. firefox 3.0.3 has lots of bugs,k do not download it yet….on the other hand…chrome speed had increased significantly and the bookmarks do not show now when the website is open which is good

  16. One word v8. It’s fast, u can really tell the speed difference if you’re browsing sites with lots of javascripts like those made by most modern CMS-es and AJAX sites.

    These ppl know what they’re doing, give them more time 🙂

  17. I look at it this way. I have a bike I get around with quickly (chrome), and a work truck (firefox). I do all my work on firefox, debugging and developing isn’t a game changer yet on chrome, but when I’m browsing I use googles chrome. Its fast and if all I’m doing is reading its perfect for getting on the internet fast, browsing fast. But the way it handles downloads has me always closing my browser before its finished. So if there is anything like that involved I’ll go with firefox. It’s nice to have a webkit browser on windows that isn’t safari too. ie/ff/chrome has a good amount of coverage if you are testing websites out. A lot of windows users wont install safari, and as such you end up missing that demographic when you are aiming for browser compatibility.

    ps. I also have a pinto (ie6) and a tempo (ie7) but they leak too much oil to take out all the time 🙂

  18. Shoots,it works for me,and I am very much a newbie in the whole internet- computer scene.It’s pretty handy and faster than firefox.Of course I really didn’t have to unlearn any thing . Aloha!

  19. If you don’t even use it why bother writing an article about it? Why not instead have someone who has used it constantly for 30 days write one? Seems to make a lot more sense.

    Chrome is far from perfect when it comes to initial setup (importing/managing bookmarks is a pain), but once it’s up and running it’s quite painless overall, and will only surely get better. It took firefox a long time to build up to the numbers it now enjoys, and with the support of Google, is it truly likely that Google won’t give their own browser as much support in the long term?

  20. I’m hoping the come up with a really easy plug-in architecture for it, I would love it if Chrome was like a “base” browser, really fast with no bells and whistles, and then you have the ability to customize it to your liking via plug-ins. Firefox originally seemed like this, but I think over time it’s grown considerably.

  21. I was annoyed that Chrome isn’t officially available for Linux yet, so instead I installed Flock. It’s a little slower than Firefox, but within 24 hours I was hooked on all the features. Flock, my friends, is what a web browser should be. Not dinky little Chrome.

  22. im on a mac. i wish i could use chrome, just for the fact that every tab is a new process.

    from what i see the design/layout/typography of the program is nice.

    supposedly faster than firefox.

    the only thing I wouldn’t use it for is developing, I gotta have my Firebug.

    still waiting on the mac version,
    taelor

  23. Sekhar – that’s my issue with Firefox as well. I’ve been using Chrome since day one, because of the Firefox crashes. The crashes were getting to the point of ridiculous. I still, however, have to use Firefox occasionally, because I sometimes run across something that doesn’t support Chrome.

  24. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. I hate the new History “library” on Firefox. It made it more difficult for me to find what I was looking for. Chrome history is ordered by most recent and they even conveniently time stamp it for me. 🙂

  25. Chrome is my default browser now. While Firefox is for long internet sessions, and can’t live without some extensions, Chrome start in less then a second and do what browsers sould do, show html pages, simple and fast.
    In a world of intelligent people it would take over IE users in few days.

  26. I really liked Chrome but can’t use it due to no Google Toolbar plugin, which I absolutely depend upon, e.g. mainly for the Google Bookmarks button (I use lots of different machines). Sadly, converts to Chrome seem to be predominently from Firefox. People who aren’t willing to try Firefox over IE aren’t likely to try Chrome, whereas a Firefox user would delight in a least evaluating Chrome.

  27. I am totally impartial to the fruitless Microsoft/Apple/Mozilla etc debates. I choose something simply because it works best for me. Chrome works best by far…..it is super fast, has no bugs, does not crash ever (unlike Firefox which crashes more often with every new release) and has a user interface which is streets ahead of its competition. That’ll do me.

  28. I have not stopped using it since day 1.

    After 1 month of using “chrome” for pretty much all my browsing, I can say that

    1. It has never ever crashed.
    2. Acrobat Reader never loads inside chrome.
    3. Java and Flash work like a charm.
    4. Chrome’s Javascript engine has a few quirks(bugs), but nothing serious.

    Although I do sometimes, use Firefox just for my on line bank accounts.

  29. Om,

    One thing tech blogs need to keep in mind about Chrome and the amount of traffic that comes from Chrome users is your audience are techies and more likely/prone to try Chrome than mainstream Web users. As a result, Chrome usage on tech blogs will be significantly higher than non-tech blogs.

    Mark

  30. There is no point in testing all these junks. Its still in very much beta with lots and lots of security bugs. In addition to that google is trying all the possible ways to collect as much personal information in the name of these ridiculous applications.

    There isn’t anything in it to be fascinated as i read in many other articles.In my personal point of view, google is not doing any social work. They have some hidden agendas. This is one among them.

    I’m satisfied with what firefox offers me now.

  31. I’m actually using Windows XP because of Chrome. As soon as Chrome is available for Ubuntu Linux, I will switch back to Ubuntu Linux.

    When Google will be launching more AJAX services that can take advantage of Chrome’s faster AJAX processing, if the other browsers haven’t been improved, Google will simple put a link on their homepage again.

    If needed, in a matter of a couple of months, by advertising for it on the worlds most popular website google.com, Google could make sure everyone has installed Chrome and uses it by default.

  32. I am using it since its launch and I am delighted with the simple, clean, minimalistic user interface. Some people complain about lack of support for toolbars or not having a proper bookmarks organizer, but I love the Google concept of “forget about organizing folders and simply search” for the page you bookmarked, or visited before. Same as in Gmail. Why waste time organizing emails into folders, if you have a powerful search feature.

    The single box for search and URL with autocomplete is also an improvement once you get used to it. It felt strange at the beginning to search for words on what used to be the URL box. But now I have teh opposite effect I missed the one box when I use Firefox or IE.

    Clean user interface, never crashes and extremely fast. Great job Google!

  33. After a month of using, I love Chrome! It’s become my default browser on Vista and XP (across four PCs). I’m still looking forward to trying it on my MacBook and my Linux-based netbook, but if it’s anything like the Windows version, I’ll probably switch there as well.

    Chrome is fast, efficient, and stays out of my way.

  34. I’m still using Chrome as my primary browser. It’s fast and lean. I too noticed Chrome wasn’t on Google’s homepage after two weeks into release. It’s a wonderful product, I just hope they don’t pull the plug and resources away from this project.

  35. Google is not after Microsoft’s share of the browser market: it’s after something much bigger.

    To understand what’s truly and enduringly interesting about Google Chrome, one needs to understand what is special about V8, its new Javascript engine. And to understand that, it’s useful to go back ten years to look at the position of Javascript’s remote cousin Java.

    Ten years ago, Java was so slow it was inconceivable that anybody could use it to build serious systems; its garbage collection process brought entire applications to a shuddering halt. Then a small start-up team led by Lars Bak, a graduate of Denmark’s famous Aarhus University, developed a new virtual machine for Java that enabled code to be compiled on the fly, improving Java’s performance 20 times or more. The start-up was rapidly acquired by Sun and Bak became the technology lead for Java Hotspot, Java’s current virtual machine.

    Hotspot changed everything: suddenly Java became a language to take very seriously indeed.

    Fast-forward ten years, and Lars Bak is back in Aarhus, leading the team developing V8, the Javascript engine behind Google Chrome.

    Without V8, Javascript suffers from the same problem Java had ten years ago: it’s painfully, unbelievably slow, tens or even hundreds of thousands of times slower than other languages. So despite its flexibility, it’s never been used for any kind of serious development; in fact, it’s been the single biggest hurdle to the development of more interesting applications that can run inside a browser.

    It’s not always Telkom’s fault when web pages load at a snail’s pace: Javascript is a big part of the problem. There have been a few attempts to replace it as the main tool for getting functionality into the browser, notably Microsoft’s Silverlight and Adobe’s Flex, both of which are being pushed hard. The goal for everyone is enable as much as possible to be done inside the browser, as efficiently as possible.

    Applications like Gmail and Google Maps have done amazingly well so far, but they are way out at the limits of what can be done inside a browser.

    Or rather, they WERE out at the limits of what could be done. Just as Hotspot changed everything for Java, so V8 is going to change everything for Javascript. In a below-the-radar blog post at the beginning of September announcing V8, Bak said it “has been designed for performance from the ground up. In particular, we wanted to remove some common bottlenecks that limit the amount and complexity of JavaScript code that can be used in Web applications.”

    Bak says there are three cornerstones of the V8 design: Compilation of JavaScript source code directly into native machine code, an efficient memory management system resulting in fast object allocation and small garbage collection pauses, and the Introduction of hidden classes and inline caches that speed up property access and function calls.

    That may not make a great deal of sense to those who aren’t programmers, but here’s the key point: V8 is fast. Very, very fast. So fast that it is now possible, for the first time, to develop seriously functionality inside a web browser without relying on obese plugins.

    Security is also much tighter with V8. Every tab opened in the browser is a separate process that is well sandboxed, allowing no leakage of malignant code. In other existing browsers, even Firefox, all tabs use a single execution thread and a single process, making the whole vulnerable to security problems. V8 provides a far superior environment for developing applications.

    Tellingly, V8 is open source, which will only magnify the huge ripple effect it is going to have. Slow runtime environments have been the biggest stumbling block to moving more functionality off the desktop and into the browser; with that removed, things are really going to take off. Google Docs, for one, will gather enormous strength, possibly making it a real alternative to Microsoft Office for the first time.

    Which brings us back to the starting point: Google is not interested in winning browser market share, it’s interested in replacing entire operating systems. A JavaScript engine that enables serious functionality to be offered inside the browser is a huge step in that direction.

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