Will you switch to Google’s shiny new browser?

September 3, 2008

google-china.jpg The first reviews of Google’s new web browser, Chrome, praise its sleek looks and superfast downloads, but can’t agree on whether it is good enough to persuade people to switch from Explorer or Firefox.

Mike Harvey, of the Times, gives it three out of five stars and says it should spark a “browser war” on the Internet.

“It is already an improvement on Internet Explorer, but does not go much beyond the functionality of Firefox,” he writes.

Chrome has an “intuitive and friendly” system of tabs to allow users to switch between web pages or email, he says. The browser also loads pages “very swiftly”.

The Guardian’s technology writer Jack Schofield says it makes Explorer look dated.

“While it’s a bit like driving a Noddy car, I quite like the look-and-feel that Google has borrowed from Office 2007,” he writes in an early blog.

One major gripe, however, is the location of the icon that allows you to manipulate the menu bar that gives you access to your favourites, he adds.

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg has been using the new browser for over a week.

His verdict: “Chrome is a smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the Web faster, easier and less frustrating.”

The Los Angeles Times likens Chrome to a “shiny new sports car”, saying: “It’s streamlined, has some great new features and is very, very fast.

“If Explorer and Firefox are the Toyotas of browsers, Chrome is the sporty Mini Cooper,” write David Colker and Michelle Maltais.

But not everyone is sure that the company best known for its search engine has done enough to convince people to switch from the market leader, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Verne Kopytoff says the browser could have been better.

Downloads speeds are fast, but some graphics and pictures load in the wrong place, he says.

Privacy features designed to protect your browsing history fall short of those offered on Explorer, he adds.

“What I discovered was a product that has some clear advantages over Microsoft’s, but also some shortcomings that, overall, hardly make it a killer – at least today,” he writes.

Have you tried using Chome? What are your first impressions? If not, are you tempted to make the switch to Google’s new baby?


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It seems to be faster and first impressions are favourable. Have been a FIREFOX fan for some time but welcome something new, especially from the GOOGLE stable. Rarely use Internet Explorer these days. Its from the past!

Posted by Ted | Report as abusive

I’ve not tried it and don’t intend to until all the geeks have played with it and reported all the glitches to Google and Google has fixed the bugs.

Long experience has told me not to waste money on anything produced by computer drivers until it’s been thoroughly tested and known to be bug-free.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

This “new” browser is a pile of wasted time, we already have a wide selection of good browsers, this is just another instrument for google to finish indoctrinating internet users into their systems, they should be fined by anti competitive rules!
If anyone wants to use a good browser, use OPERA they have pioneered fast browsing for a long time and they are independent, so no special interest in promoting any websites or services!!

Posted by Pablo | Report as abusive

I’ve tried it and it offers nothing above firefox and IE that i can tell except looking like a three year old designed it, it doesn’t run hotmail, and one would assume that means there will be a number of things it cannot run, considering most internet content is publishe dusing microsoft technology, it makes sense to use a microsoft product

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

In our FTSE 100 company we are still using IE6. Not allowed to use IE7 let alone FF so absolutely no chance of getting close to Chrome !

Posted by Paul/C. | Report as abusive

I doubt it. I’m getting sick and tired of having to “learn” new computer software that offers me nothing functionally new – or so little as to make no difference.

To me the computer is a means to an end not the end itself so if this saves me a couple of microseconds so what?

I’m not dazzled by shiny new things. Sorry…

Posted by Dane Aubrun | Report as abusive

Google have based their browser in OPERA’S technology, so let’s support OPERA instead of Google as it’s a 100% European developed software!
As you should do with investments, people should diversify their software use and web application under different platforms, to put the WHOLE web use under Google’s hands is a big mistake.

Posted by Pablo | Report as abusive

Chrome cannot compete with either Apple’s Windows version of Safari, nor is it the same class as a rarely mentioned browser, called Flashpeak Slimbrowser, which I have been using for years. Chrome is easy to use, but that’s about it. I would not consider changing. RTS

Posted by robert street | Report as abusive

No – I ain’t changing. I’m more than happy with Apple’s version of Safari for Windows. Chrome is just one of a bunch!

Posted by ganymede | Report as abusive

Tried it but went back to IE7 Pro. I’m not on a tablet PC but really missed the gesture support. Also missed address bar aliases. Be interested how it develops though and may try it again later.

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

First impressions are mixed – looked good to start with – doesn’t seem to offer a great deal of new functionality.

Loads of bugs – they say that it loads quicker etc. Depends what you mean by that – it doesn’t load quicker if you take into account the fact that you need to close it – then load up firefox and download the page properly.

I’m a fan of google – but on this occassion I agree with the person who says let all the glitches get sorted and they release the full version – fed up of beta’s.

Stick to firefox for now – IE8 is also a waste of time.

Posted by Matt Poole | Report as abusive

No. I’m not giving it my life. Least firefox is free and doesn’t try to own every you do.

Posted by Mike Ives | Report as abusive