Blog Post

Google Chrome: One Month Later

Google Chrome BrowserEarlier this week,’s Svetlana Gladkova sent an email reminding me that Google’s Chrome Browser was one month old. How time flies, and how quickly we forget: or at least I did. After my initial few posts and thoughts, Google Chrome has fallen off my attention radar since it is not available for my preferred computing platform – OSX X. I typically divide my browsing time between Safari and Camino. [digg=]

I have checked it out occasionally by booting it up on Windows running via Parallels on my MacBook. Apparently, I am part of the median: Svetlana has been tracking the usage using Google Analytics, Clicky and Net Applications has seen a gradual decline in the usage. Gone is the download Chrome link from the Google home page. She points out that there are some fixes the browser needs and as a result Google might be quietly taking a step back. (Related Post: Why Chrome isn’t a killer browser just yet.)

Svetlana is right in being cautious on the chances of the Google browser, though I am not sure how to view the fact that it now accounts for about 5.6% of the traffic to GigaOM and now ranks as the fourth most usage browser. Across our network, here Chrome’s share of total visits by site: 6.13% (jkOnTheRun), 5.78% (OStatic), 5.06% (WebWorkerDaily), 3.09% (NewTeeVee), 2.43% (Earth2Tech) and 2.24% (TheAppleblog). [If you want to share information about your website/service in comments, it would be pretty cool.]

Those numbers can of course mean many things, like I have a lot of readers at Google. Of course, they remind me that I need to use Windows more often. Jokes aside, I think Google isn’t likely to give up on this browser for anytime soon. There are many reasons why they won’t let it become their Waterloo.

Google has realized that web is no more a mere collection of plain web pages or simple interface to databases. If not today then sometime in the near future we would expect equality in the experience (if not feature parity) between desktop and web applications. It is a future where browsers can’t be just html renderers but containers for a runtime environment. Anyway follow Svetlana – I have a sneaky suspicion she would be following Chrome’s progress (or lack of it) for a while.

83 Responses to “Google Chrome: One Month Later”

  1. If you don’t even use it why bother writing an article about it? Why not instead have someone who has used it constantly for 30 days write one? Seems to make a lot more sense.

    Chrome is far from perfect when it comes to initial setup (importing/managing bookmarks is a pain), but once it’s up and running it’s quite painless overall, and will only surely get better. It took firefox a long time to build up to the numbers it now enjoys, and with the support of Google, is it truly likely that Google won’t give their own browser as much support in the long term?

  2. Philip Brown

    Shoots,it works for me,and I am very much a newbie in the whole internet- computer scene.It’s pretty handy and faster than firefox.Of course I really didn’t have to unlearn any thing . Aloha!

  3. I look at it this way. I have a bike I get around with quickly (chrome), and a work truck (firefox). I do all my work on firefox, debugging and developing isn’t a game changer yet on chrome, but when I’m browsing I use googles chrome. Its fast and if all I’m doing is reading its perfect for getting on the internet fast, browsing fast. But the way it handles downloads has me always closing my browser before its finished. So if there is anything like that involved I’ll go with firefox. It’s nice to have a webkit browser on windows that isn’t safari too. ie/ff/chrome has a good amount of coverage if you are testing websites out. A lot of windows users wont install safari, and as such you end up missing that demographic when you are aiming for browser compatibility.

    ps. I also have a pinto (ie6) and a tempo (ie7) but they leak too much oil to take out all the time :)

  4. One word v8. It’s fast, u can really tell the speed difference if you’re browsing sites with lots of javascripts like those made by most modern CMS-es and AJAX sites.

    These ppl know what they’re doing, give them more time :)

  5. firefox 3.0.3 has lots of bugs,k do not download it yet….on the other hand…chrome speed had increased significantly and the bookmarks do not show now when the website is open which is good

  6. Being a web developer, I spend at least 10-12 hrs a day inside a browser window. And though this sounds like an infomercial, Chrome increased my productivity and definitely made my work more enjoyable and inspired me to do more. Not only do I think Chrome is a definite game changer, I predict its browser share will hit double digits, in the next 3 months.
    The strengths of Chrome as I perceive:
    1. Speed – blows IE and FF away.
    2. Simplicity – the lack of add-ons, as I see it, is actually a good thing – makes it leaner and faster)
    3. Separate process for each tab.
    4. Open source which means an active community(though not as big as FF at present).
    5. Extensive testing by Google against the entire web.

    I did hit a few snags initially with the official release of Chrome on my Windows 2003 64-bit, all of
    which have been solved by installing the Nightly build of Chromium(the open source brother of Chrome).

    The Chrome share on the website(99% US traffic) I build and maintain are at par with ones mentioned
    in the post:
    Total Visitors: 2,590,553 (Sep 5 – Oct 5 2008)
    IE7 + IE6: 41.3 + 22.6
    Firefox: 17.28
    Safari: 13.32
    Chrome: 3.07

  7. Usage of Chrome isn’t as high up on my blog as on others: ff 44.70%, ie 44.41%, chrome 3.57%

    At work (Windows) Chrome is my browser of choice, I’m longing for the OSX release so that I can use it at home. On the systems I use, the launch time is so much quicker than FF, which is key for me.

    Most of the developers in the company are also using Chrome on their systems with little interest in IE8.

  8. At we’re currently seeing 5.2% of our traffic coming from Chrome, compared to 53.6% for Firefox, 29.2% for Explorer, and 5.5% for Safari.

    Personally, I like Chrome’s incognito mode. I also like Chrome’s tab interface and the isolated nature of crashes has already proven useful. But I’m still using Firefox more frequently, largely because it’s still set as the default. And it’s still set as a default because Chrome’s feature set isn’t fully there yet.

  9. chrome is ok-ish, short on killer features, would be killer if I didn’t use opera, and know all of it’s features, which, by the way, leave every other browser on Earth in the dust.
    Firefox pisses me off, clunky workflow missing loads of features, and no, I am not a fan of installing enless fixes, er, plug-ins.
    I just wish more, er, all web developers would ‘allow’ opera to work with their sites.

  10. Tried Chrome on day 1 and immediately got hooked and switched (from Safari). Really fast, clean; love the pull out tabs feature. Other little goodies too, like if you do a search, the locations show up as bars on the scrollbar. Bookmark handling is still a pain though: import isn’t reliable and no way to export. I don’t use plugins much, that wasn’t an issue for me.

    BTW, Firefox 3 crashes regularly for me on both my 32 bit laptop and 64 bit desktop, very frustrating. I’m surprised others aren’t seeing this.

  11. I have converted to chrome, except for a few sites that don’t render well in it. The biggest plus is the ability to kill Flash plugins without disturbing the rest of the setup. Flash seems to go on to 20-30% CPU quite often.

  12. the initial land/IP grab in the original EULA speaks volumes about Google’s intentions – not pro user – recent patent publications too look fairly week … me thinks they have real competition outside core search – a very good thing

  13. I still don’t understand why all the negative feedbacks about Chrome. Ever since its release I use it strictly as replacement to IE. It is extremely fast, and the look is very nice and simple. However, I still use Firefox when watching video. But I also installed the chromifox add-on to make it look like Chrome. Firefox might have a better chance with Chrome. But as far as IE concerns, I stop using it completely.

  14. I have really enjoyed the browser overall, but I am waiting for my have to have password program, RoboForm, to port. I got way to many passwords to remember, and do not trust browser password managers (and have had spotty success).

    Presently on my site, Chrome checks in at 4th place with a paltry 3.07%. Firefox checks in at 47.18%, IE at 43.78%, and Safari at 4.23%. The remaining browsers make up less than 2% of traffic to my site.

  15. Spot checking a half dozen of the sites I manage with traffic ranging from 15k to 150k unique visitors over the course of the last month, Chrome numbers never rose over 1%. The majority of what I’ve seen is less than .5%, in fact.

  16. Sam Denby

    Fast, so I like to use it for Google Reader, but then I cannot save things into Zotero – my reference tool. Can’t use it for gmail, because it doesn’t support GTDInbox addon. I use Google Apps, so therefore use same browser for Mail, Docs ..
    Until it gets the ecosystem around it, I cannot use it as much as I would like to.

  17. Just as RC said, I now use Chrome for most of the browsing, for the rest I use Firefox when I need a plugin or a feature not yet available in Chrome. It is very fast, very stable, very easy on eyes.
    I think the beta version is mostly for letting the world be aware of its presence and that a runtime environment version is not far off.

  18. I installed Chrome on day one, and after a week of use, was unable to return to firefox except for the occasion instance where I needed a plugin and didn’t want to install it in Chrome. After a week, firefox seemed to take a loooong time to startup (relative to Chrome) and pages take forever to load (again, relative to Chrome).

    So far, it’s been great, and I don’t really understand the snark against it (see jenkins, above). Chrome is super fast, very stable, and has some very nice features. It doesn’t change the world, but it’s a very nice browser for Windows. It is significantly faster and more stable than firefox or explorer. If you just remove the love vs hate of google, it’s hard to see why every windows user wouldn’t be using this.

  19. The current release of Chrome is just about getting it out of the door, with most of the value lying in scaring Ballmer and Co a teeny weeny bit. The actual value is when the apps shape up around it (none of the apps that currently support it on Google, especially Docs, work reasonably well offline with it now) to the extent where they can be used on a daily basis.

    Interestingly, that is when they will also open up weird anti-trust avenues for B&C to attack them. We are headed for interesting times.