Chrome: Apple Looks Better All The Time

I should be biting my tongue, but the pain exploding in my brain by thinking this prevents me from doing anything further to my anatomy.  As one who escaped IBM’s totalitarian regime of the 1980’s (run Apple 1984 Super Bowl commercial), I can not believe I want to return, even if Steve Jobs is cool and IBM was not.  Chrome is what is sending me there.

Does anybody think of the poor slobs shoveling coal in the bowels of IT support when they think up a new browser or (shudder!) yet another toolbar.  These unsung heroes are just turning the corner on the Safari onslaught — every user with an iPod (99.999998% approx.) had this disease ridden Typhoid Mary installed on their PC auto-magically (thank you for the opt out Apple, not).  At least Chrome is “voluntary” at this point, requiring a mouse click for download, but given Google’s track record with their Toolbar, it is sure to be foisted on every unsuspecting PC in short order.  I can’t wait.

The best part about all of these revolutionary browsers is playing malware shell games with their developers: “We fixed some bugs, but we are not going to tell you which ones (Ha Ha Ha).”  Nothing personal, but what happened to “Do No Evil”?  It is an oxymoron, name one marketing/advertising entity with morals (it started with Josef Goebbels and has been downhill ever since).

This weeks Economist has a much more interesting insight in its technology section. The bulk of the world will be accessing the Internet through their cell phones based on cost, penetration, and true ubiquity.  This is the platform of the future and the one most in need of innovation and development (the greatest good for the greatest number I always say).  Putting all of the resources of the Internet in the hands of the poor and repressed and truly flattening the world as put forward by Friedman seems so right, squabbling over the desktops of the rich developed world seems so Evil (well trivial and venal in any case).

I am not a Luddite (argh! I am having an existential moment), Chrome does have value beyond firing up the trade press and blog traffic (oops, did I say Chrome in my blog too?).  It legitimately tries to move the user experience up a level in terms of trying to derive an informational level of interface instead of gratuitous data groveling at a list level.  More research needs to move in this direction as the data volumes increase to the absurd.  One question we discussed: Would cartoon character representation assist C-level executives understanding?  The answer is of course, Yes! Only The Family Guy could illuminate those fixtures.

Chrome – a quick first look and review

Yesterday I got all excited about the Chrome release. It is available now for download at http://www.google.com/chrome

After playing around with the new Google Chrome Browser for the last hour, here are some initial thoughts:

  1. It’s very light weight. It installs in seconds and takes little system resources to run. It is also light on features. More on that later.
  2. It’s FAST and renders almost every page I’ve tried perfectly. 
  3. I like the new interface which is nice and clean, the tabs on top etc.
  4. The tools for developers are cool with the task manager providing great system details and even the view source supports code color coding. 
  5. The first page is fine but I find it somewhat annoying that you can not edit the content of the 9 default boxes. Automation is a fine concept but you are not always alone. If I happened to go and check on a gossip site during the day, do I want everyone present in the next meeting when I fire up my browser to know that? some editing functions will be useful.
  6. It is a beta release granted but even for a beta it is missing some browser staples that have been part of any browser for a long time. Accessibility, content ratings, parental controls, Zoom, Fontsize change all gone.
  7. Bookmark management is extremely basic
  8. Passwords. I could not believe but here it was in plain text. If you answer positively for storing you password, Chrome will allow you and anyone else that happens to be sitting at your desk not just to access sites but to view the plain text version of passwords to saved sites. This is bad.
  9. Surprisingly, no support exists for the Goolge Toolbar but I’m sure that will be remedied soon.
  10. Lack of support for plugins.

Overall, it is a good little browser that mostly good for casual reading and using the Google tools. It is not ready for the workplace nor can it be a single or even the primary browser for any power user.

It is an impressive first foray into the arena and I hope they beef it up for the actual release if it’s to be a contender