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Summary:

The browser wars are heating up once more. Google yesterday released a new version of Chrome and announced that the browser was out of beta (quite a rapid development, given that Gmail still sports the “beta” tag some five years after it was first unveiled). The […]

chrome211The browser wars are heating up once more. Google yesterday released a new version of Chrome and announced that the browser was out of beta (quite a rapid development, given that Gmail still sports the “beta” tag some five years after it was first unveiled). The new Chrome is blazingly fast, even beating the latest beta of Firefox 3.5 — itself no slouch — in JavaScript performance benchmarks. There are numerous guides and tool out there that will help you get even more out of it – all of them free.

The battle between Google and Mozilla to produce the fastest browser is good news for users increasingly reliant on Ajax-powered web apps. The heavy investment Google making into JavaScript performance makes perfect sense — after all, users will be much more likely to switch from their desktop applications if the performance of Google’s JavaScript-heavy web apps is comparable.

Google is aggressively pushing for more market share for its fledgling browser. Stats would suggest that Google has had some early success at this goal, capturing nearly 5 percent of the market already (much more than established browser Opera, which sits at just 2.2 percent), according to W3Schools. With blistering performance, a great platform with which to push its product and even a TV advertising campaign, that market share looks likely to increase.

Other enhancements in this new release include improved stability, a full screen mode and form autofill. And while it’s somewhat surprising that Google has brought Chrome out of beta with no Mac version available, one is planned.

  1. I love Chrome and can’t go back to IE. The only thing I wish they would fix is the Bookmarks. I’m not really impressed by it (or maybe I don’t know how to use it) and still use IE’s bookmarks.

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    1. Agreed Arif, it’s a great browser. If only its spellcheck worked with WordPress, I’d switch from Firefox.

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    2. I love the simpleness in Chrome too but I’m afriad it’s too naive and does not support the innovation that Firefox (and developers ecosystem) has. The new tab management so called story in Chrome is really lame when you compare it to some of the innovations you can get – take a look at New Tab King as one (http://www.newtabking.com)

      –shelly

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  2. A Mac version is up and running. I run it at home. It’s alpha quality and doesn’t support plugins, but it still functional

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    1. thanks Nick – are you talking about the Chromium builds? When you say “alpha quality,” can you use it day to day?

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      1. It is chromium, but the builds are released by google now and there are only cosmetic differences between chrome and chromium. If you don’t need flash, then yes, you can use it day to day.The browser is stable enough for that and it has retained the blistering speed of its windows cousin. I’m closely tracking it’s development, you can read more about it here

        http://www.manu-j.com/blog/download-updated-native-google-chrome-for-mac-os-x/230/

        The browser has improved a lot since the first builds appeared, which was in the beginning of april. Chrome on mac, when it first appeared, beat the latest Safari and Firefox on Sunpsider benchmarks. I haven’t done a revised benchmark after that but the scores should be level now between chrome and safari beta

        Here is my review of the initial build

        http://www.manu-j.com/blog/google-chrome-on-mac-os-x-first-impressions/226/

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  3. your figures are wrong, that’s 5% of all visitors to W3schools.com, which is far from representative. The best figure out there for Chrome market share is probably from Net Applications which has it at 1.42% in April, from 1.23% on March. Still small fry though obviously it’s a great browser.

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  4. I use all 4 browsers, but Chrome the most. Chrome should bypass FF in popularity.

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  5. I would try switching to Chrome if there was a stable Mac version – Google definitely need to consider the benefits of getting the high percentage of Mac only developers on their side. Delicious & Firebug plugins are the only reason I stick with Firefox (although the recent JetPack announcements are something to keep an eye on).

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  6. Ian Morison Friday, May 22, 2009

    The most surprising thing is how little actual user-interface innovation is shown by either Firefox or Chrome. I use a browser called iRider, which vastly improves on the “tabs” UI.

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    1. mozilla is actually considering a plan to abandon tabs and move to a tree view

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  7. Hmm…I guess it’s understandable that readers of tech blog like this use Firefox or Chrome. But have you guys tried out IE8? I have and am now fully converted to it from Firefox. Very stable and fast (enough). No need mess with IE emulation mode in FF to visit various IE only sites anymore! Just a very solid feel to it. Love the In-Private mode too.

    BTW, Google is heavily advertising Chrome on its home page. Surprised to see it still at 1.42% share. Maybe people like me are trying it out and then give it up. IE8 is at close to 8% without much push effort from MS.

    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=1
    http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?sample=34&qprid=34&qpcustom=Microsoft+Internet+Explorer+8.0

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  8. Is very interesting how Google use for the word “beta”, 60+% of their products still on beta.

    Is pretty obvious that Google was going to release a “version 1″ soon, because if they want to complete with FF or IE, they need to have a solid software. The main reason they need to launch a V1 is that they cant really let any user complain about Chrome, they cant afford to have bugs, issues with the speed, and prove that the concept of multi-thread tabs work, etc.

    Take a look, Google had done a very good job putting into people’s head that Chrome rocks, that is cool, and is still on development… expectation is the key here.

    Another cool thing about this is that Google in this past years have been trying to construct this nice/friendly image, and also trying very hard to gain people’s sympathy, which I think they had done a very nice job… and thats what scares me…..

    How easy is to sale the idea of a new browser when you own 65+% of the search engine market, when you almost own (real exception: HULU) the video streaming media. When you own the ads network: adword + doubleclick…… when you have around 50 million users (not a real number) that use your service on a daily basis, is very easy to sale a idea…..

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  9. I still prefer firefox as i’m so used to some of the add-ins.

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