09/3/08

Google Chrome real thin client: the fat Firefox killer

         

browser war (one more time)

 

 

 

 When I first heard of the release of Google Chrome I thought that this was probably one browser too many. When I tried it this morning (I’m writing with it now) I was really amazed at the simplicity and – above all – lightning fast display of the new Google browser. Besides, there are interesting features like window drag and drop, the ‘most visited’ page and ‘recent bookmarks’ box which are automatically updated when you open a new tab, its ‘full screen always’ mode and many others. 

Above all, it’s a no frill, and incredibly quick browser, straightforward and – eventually – a really thin client. So much so that I then started to wonder whether it was really Miscrosoft who had to fear Google’s new release or rather Firefox. The once preferred browser of many a geek and Web enthusiast – including yours truly – has been enhanced with piles of new functionality, addons, skins and such like until it became hardly usable. Now, my Firefox 3 browser loads far slower than my IE7 and sometimes it freezes my PC to a point that I have to kill it and start IE to browse the web. The final straw I should say.  Besides, many sites aren’t displayed properly with Firefox, a bug which never was corrected and is now wearing thick (the useful IETab addon can somewhat circumvent that problem, but only to an extent and besides, it contributes to the bulk of Firefox).
As per the question raised by ZDnet (see linked article at the bottom of this post and here) I don’t think that Google Chrome is an IE killer (IE still accounts for more than 80% of usage) but I would certainly rate it as a potential Firefox killer. At the end of the day, Google Chrome is promising not because of its development kit or any such complex features but because it delivers on the real and fundamental promise of the long awaited but never seen thin client. And one can remember 1997 and the way that Google killed Yahoo! in no time not just because its search engine and indexing was superior, but because it had managed to strip its user interface of all the unnecessary bells and whistles. 
Google Chrome is Google’s back to basics browser and therefore I think it has a good chance of succeeding. Now the next question is: Is Google Chrome the future Android browser for mobiles? Wait and see, we’re thrilled!