Google Chrome (surfing on hype waves)

Well, well, well, well, well… What’s this all about?

Google release a browser today and of course everybody is downloading it and commenting on it. I have to, too. Do I? I’d rather write about the high tides of hype that we are able to surf on once again.

Surprisingly, I didn’t hear about Chrome until today, when the BBC International News feed on my netvibes page showed the headline „Google launches internet browser“. Besides the fact that the site for the browser was not available for another 18 hours or so, it is interesting to see that it took even heise.de some time to publish a news item on this. But by now, everybody will have something on Chrome (just checking delicious: 1212 entries 2 hours after the launch, a bit disappointing actually…).

I must admit, I have downloaded and installed the version they are currently offering the moment the page came online. It’s version 0.2 something and I’m not very impressed. It’s a nice piece of software and it is very fast indeed, at least from my subjective opinion. It does some things other browsers don’t do, it has been ‚inspired‘ by some other browser (by that I mean Opera) and it does some things that I don’t want it to do (but maybe I’m too finicky about my harddisc and the files on it). It passes the Acid2 and fails the Acid3 test. Still it displays all pages fine that I usually work on. In other words, it’s just another browser.

Still, it’s a browser created and distributed by Google, which very much makes it an object that all the big news portals think it is worth writing about. Does it make the lives of users better? Time will tell. Does it make the lives of web developers and web designers easier. Hardly, because it is yet another browser with faulty standards support and a potential to be a thread for the other big players just because Google is always good for a headline.

Hey, you might say. Scott McCloud did a comic for them. Yes, he is one of my heroes, too. Still, did you see the comic?

After all, I might be just too negative about it all. Let’s just wait for how it turns out and then we can all write some more posts on Google Chrome. What would we do if it wasn’t for Google?

Update: Today’s edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung had an article on page one. It said that Google is giving away its browser for free (!) in order to attack Microsoft. Can anyone tell me, if there’s a browser that is not for free? I mean, one with a market share of more than 0.1%? How over-the-top is that? If you are multi-billion dollar company, I guess you don’t have to care for marketing your products anymore, because journalists will do the job for you. However, there are slight hints towards critical undertones in the article as well, something about data security and such… Still, as far as I get it, Chrome is still very much beta. And they all make such a big fuzz about it. Is it really that important?

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